Pupil Premium Reviews

The purpose of a pupil premium review is to use an evidence-based approach to assess how much impact a school is making when spending its pupil premium, and how it might increase its effectiveness. When it comes to the pupil premium, all schools should be using proven intervention strategies rather than simply doing more of what they've always done. Trying something different which is known to be effective, rather than staying with well-established approaches that are comfortable, is a key principle in effective pupil premium use.The purpose of the review is to improve a school’s Pupil Premium strategy so that the funding can be spent on approaches that have been shown to be effective in improving the achievement of disadvantaged students. All schools with disadvantaged pupils stand to benefit from a fresh perspective on their Pupil Premium strategy and the hope is that Pupil Premium Reviews will become a standard part of every school’s self-improvement cycle.


Over the last five years, the Pupil Premium has supported schools to rethink the way in which they raise standards for disadvantaged pupils. We all know that time is short for disadvantaged pupils in our schools to realise their potential, so it is more vital than ever that the decisions about using the funding are part of an effective strategy.


This will normally involve:

  • adjusting the way in which the funding is used, with greater attention to approaches that have been proved to be effective elsewhere

  • improving the delivery of existing approaches

  • targeting existing approaches more specifically to the identified needs of pupils in the school.

When you should commission a review

You can commission a review at any time if you want to improve your school’s pupil premium strategy. All schools should consider whether they could benefit from the fresh perspective of an experienced school leader to help them try new approaches or improve current provision to help raise the attainment of their disadvantaged pupils.

Ofsted will recommend that you commission a review if, as a result of a section 5 inspection, it identifies specific issues regarding the provision for disadvantaged pupils.

In some cases, the Department for Education (DfE), your local authority, your regional schools commissioner, or the organisation involved in running your school, academy or free school (for example, the trust or diocese) may recommend that you commission a review if there are concerns about the results of your disadvantaged pupils.

You should start the process of commissioning a review within 2 weeks of it being recommended and should aim to have the review completed within 8 weeks. If an Ofsted inspection report recommends the review, the monitoring inspector will expect it to be undertaken in a timely way.

Process of a Pupil premium review

The general format of a review is as follows:

  • Initial Meeting – Reviewer to visit the school and meet with Head teacher or member of the Leadership Team with responsibility for this area. The purpose of the meeting is to go agree what specific areas are going to be reviewed and arrange an itinerary for the visit. The reviewer will also ask for or collect data that may be necessary.

  • Preparation – The reviewer will read through data and other relevant documentation such as Pupil Premium strategy. The School will complete a self-evaluation about Pupil Premium.

  • The Visit – The reviewer will visit the school for a day. They will meet and talk with the key members of staff or governors that were identified in the initial meeting. They may well also undertake a learning walk if relevant. At the end of the day the reviewer will feed back to the Head teacher / Leadership Team as to their main findings and recommendations.

  • The Report – The reviewer will produce a report outlining the key findings and recommendations.

  • Follow up Visit – If necessary the reviewer will then visit the school again about six to ten weeks later to see how things have been going and offer further support.

The cost of a Pupil Premium review is usually £700. This is based on two days’ worth of support from an SLE.