In order to continue improving the performance of disadvantaged learners, schools should:
- adopt clear systems for working with outside agencies to support disadvantaged learners, for example the ‘Team around the family’ approach;
- work with other agencies to engage disadvantaged families more in school life;
- work more closely with partner schools to develop a common approach to tackling poverty and to support pupils’ transition from primary to secondary school;
- identify a senior member of staff to co-ordinate work with external services and agencies;
- make sure that staff know how to raise the achievement of disadvantaged learners;
- use systems to track pupils’ progress in order to evaluate initiatives that seek to improve wellbeing and standards; and
- use the Pupil Deprivation Grant to target the needs of disadvantaged pupils specifically, whatever their ability.
Local authorities and consortia should:
- work with relevant services and agencies to map the specific needs of disadvantaged pupils and their families and share this information with schools and other agencies on the basis of an agreed protocol;
- take a preventative approach to tackling poverty and use ‘Team around the family’ approaches in co-ordinating services for disadvantaged families;
- make sure that strategic plans to tackle poverty are aligned to include internal services and external partners and have specific and measurable objectives;
- provide training and support to develop the skills of school leaders to manage partnership working to tackle poverty; and
- provide or broker better advice to schools on practical ways to tackle the impact of poverty.