Tackling poverty and disadvantage in schools: working with the community and other services - July 2011


Schools need to get better at identifying and supporting learners from disadvantaged backgrounds. They need to target support at disadvantaged learners more specifically, not just low performing learners, including those pupils who achieve average or above average standards. The few schools that have raised the achievement of their disadvantaged learners have done so through effective skills-based teaching and activities that targeted support for individual learners, such as mentoring or help with basic skills.
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Schools should:

  • develop a more systematic approach to improving the standards of disadvantaged learners;
  • make sure that the whole curriculum, including out-of hours provision, supports the needs of disadvantaged learners;
  • work with partners to develop solutions to the problems of disadvantage; and
  • evaluate the impact of strategies to tackle disadvantage on learners’ achievement.

Local authorities should:

  • challenge and support schools to use data to identify and monitor the progress of disadvantaged learners; and
  • develop systems to share information about disadvantaged learners with schools and across services.

The Welsh Government should:

  • work with schools and local authorities to agree a more specific remit for community-focused schools.

For a full list of recommendations, please download the report.