Improve the Progress of Disadvantaged Students

Improve the Progress of Disadvantaged Students

How Can We Use Progress 8 Tables to Improve the Progess of FSM Disadvantaged Students?

First, download the results of all the schools in the country. You can do that here:

There are 398 schools where FSM students achieve P8 of 0.2 or better. This would place them in the top 20% of P8 schools for ALL pupils nationally, not just disadvantaged.

There is a feeling that the more FSM students you have in your cohort, the harder it is to achieve progress. So, what do you do? Find schools which are bucking this trend.


How Many Schools Make Awesome FSM Progress?

43 of these schools have 100 or more FSM in their cohort

132 of these schools have 50 to 99 FSM in their cohort

So, 175 out of 398 have 50 or more FSM students


Which schools should you choose to visit?

For example, my school, Chipping Campden school is 308th of these 398 schools, ranked by P8 for FSM. I would probably seek out two kinds of school – those with a similar cohort to ours, so I can see how the context is similar, and see how easy it is to transfer their practice.

But, this is the unambitious choice, because they won’t have the highest P8 figures. The second kind of school will be the one with great progress from FSM students who are not EAL (because we have fewer of these, and EAL students can make much better progress from lower starting points).

They may have loads of FSM students, and they may be in an LA with much higher funding. But, I will still learn a lot from their approach and see how that can be adapted to our context. I’ll just have to think a lot harder about what I see, and how to adapt it.


Where are the Top Performing FSM Progess 8 Schools?

(Felix_Borennimann, Pixaby)

19 of these are in Birmingham

3 in Bournemouth

4 in Bradford

4 in Coventry

3 in Dagenham

3 in Gravesend

5 in Harrow

4 in Hounslow

5 in Ilford

3 in Leeds

3 in Leicester

77 in London

3 in Luton

3 in Manchester

3 in Newcastle

4 in Peterborough

3 in Poole

3 in Preston

3 in Reading

3 in Rochester

4 in Rotherham

7 in Sheffield

8 in Slough

3 in Southall

3 in Southampton

4 in St Albans

3 in Stoke on Trent

3 in Wallington

3 in Wembley

3 in Wirral


What Tentative Conclusions Might We Draw?

  • Higher funding appears to make a difference.
  • The closer you are to London, the more likely you are to make a difference to disadvantaged students.
  • Something special is happening in Birmingham, which is bucking the national trend. If you are in a different city, Birmingham should be your Mecca, as their funding per school will be much lower than London.
  • It may be that high EAL students in Birmingham account for the high performance of FSM students there. However, the performance of cities like Manchester and Leicester, which would also have high EAL, would suggest there is still much to learn from Birmingham.
  • In the north, Sheffield seems to be bucking the trend of other northern cities.
  • London is in a different league and, despite their funding, should be a major focus of your visits to other schools.


What is the Effect of EAL on the Progress of Disadvantaged Students?

4 have over 200 EAL students in year 11

63 have between 100 and 199

98 have between 50 and 99

125 have between 11 and 49

100 have 1 to 10

8 have 0

So, it appears that the lower starting points of EAL students means that they can make much better progress, even when they are also FSM.

However, we may also find that EAL students have strong cultural reasons for working hard. How do we replicate these in our school? Visit those who are doing so well, and find out how those EAL students think and act.

Because we have only 3 EAL students, I’d also focus on the 100 schools in the list with only 1-10 EAL children, and find the best of these to visit – but, the small cohort size suggests this might give me a false picture.

So, on reflection, I will visit them only if their whole school P8 is very high (over 0.5).


In my next post I’ll give you the names and contact details of those schools.