Pupil Premium

Pupil Premium: What does the research show?

Characteristics of pupil premium children

Disadvantaged children compared to their peers on average:

  • Experience less support for their learning at home
  • Are more likely to have significant difficulties with basic literacy and numeracy
  • Tend to have a lower locus of control – they are less likely to feel that they can control events that impact them.

Evidence about what works and how Home School Connect relates to this evidence

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), established by the Sutton Trust (in partnership with the Impetus Trust), is an independent charity dedicated to raising the educational attainment of disadvantaged students in UK schools.

The Education Endowment Foundation (funded by the Department for Education) provides reliable information on the approaches that work best in raising the achievement of disadvantaged children in the Early Years. http://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/toolkit/about-the-toolkit/. Of particular relevance is the Parental Engagement Toolkit. There is a moderate or extensive amount of research suggesting that early literacy, early numeracy and parental engagement initiatives have positive attainment outcomes for children.

Watch this Sutton Trust Video about why supporting parents to work with their children in the early years makes so much difference.
Watch this Sutton Trust Video about why using phonics is a good way of improving reading attainment, particularly in the early years.


According to the Sutton Trust- EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit, there are eight key approaches with robust evidence that prove they work with early years pupils and/or primary aged pupils. The table below briefly explains how the HSC materials & approach relates to this evidence.

Evidence on what works

Evidence rating

How HSC relates to the evidence about what works

Parental Involvement


HSC supplies materials and educational guidance helping parents to support children’s learning in the home. With school collaboration, monitoring/impact measures can enable effective evaluation.
Early intervention involving a strong focus on activities that promote early reading and number concepts


HSC home packs enable parents to meaningfully prime, reinforce or extend a child’s school learning at home. HSC packs focus on developing early reading and early numeracy skills in the EYFS.
Phonics Teaching


The EYFS reading packs have a strong phonics component and follows Letters and Sounds (DfES, 2007). If parents can be shown how to reinforce/teach phonics at home (through fun, multisensory resources) – they are likely to be able to dedicate more individual and focused support to their child than a school can provide in any given week. Research also indicates that gains in achievement made as a result of parental engagement initiatives tend to be permanent.
One to one Tutoring


One to one focused tuition, provided ‘little and often’ has strong effectiveness evidence and can help close attainment gaps. Parents are children’s first teachers and with some support (e.g. HSC) parents’ one to one time with their children can continue to have a tremendous and lasting impact.
Effective feedback upon learning


Parents can be taught/shown how to provide specific and positive feedback when working/interacting with their children. HSC parent training incorporates parent-child interaction strategies, which includes how to focus on the positive, make meaningful & specific comments about the task and/or learning process, and keeping the child’s self esteem high.
Children self-evaluating and monitoring their own learning


The HSC approach involves the child in monitoring their own learning and earning stickers for their learning efforts and participation. Although parents take the lead on monitoring their child’s progress using a home learning diary, parents can involve and invite participation from their child e.g. asking them what they felt they did particularly well.  Children also enjoy earning stickers which go onto their reward cards for their learning achievements and efforts.

All the above approaches have either moderate (***) or extensive evidence (****) behind them, advocating their suitability for use with disadvantaged children.

Suggested spend, required resources and impact measures

School Spend

  • Purchase of home maths and /or reading pack (for each child deemed to benefit from the HSC approach and resource packs)
  • Educational Psychologist or Teacher led Parent Training: How to support a child’s early reading or early maths skills, using the HSC approach & packs.

Required Resources

  • Parental Website Access (for teaching videos; pack related downloadables; online games links and more)
  • Teacher time to lead 2 further termly parent drop in sessions to monitor progress, offer further support with implementation of activities/refresh with activity ideas particularly relevant for that term (desirable)

Possible School Based Impact Measures

  • Regular shared monitoring of progress across home/school. HSC’s ‘Home Learning Diaries’ could play a key part in this. Schools/Parents with access to Orbit Early Years and Orbit Family could share information through this medium too.
  • School based pre and post  EYFS reading/maths assessment measures
  • Teacher, Parent and Child Pre-Post Questionnaires.

Key Documents

DfE (2013). Evaluation of Pupil Premium Research Report. Department for Education.

Gross, J. & Hatchett, D. (2013). The Pupil Premium. Making it work in your school. Oxford School Improvement.

Gross, J. (2013). Parental Engagement. How to make a real difference. Oxford School Improvement.

DfE Early Years Pupil Premium FAQ