Boosting Attainment Through Pupil Premium

My Tutor joined us recently at the 2022 Pupil Premium Conference - the first time we've held the event in-person since 2019!

In this blog, the team shares some thoughts on how to use Pupil Premium funding to help boost pupil attainment.

It’s easy to understand why the Pupil Premium exists - in 2022, disadvantage remains the single most influential factor on children not reaching their educational potential. This attainment gap was only widened by the coronavirus pandemic.  So, how can Pupil Premium be used to close the gap between these students and their more advantaged peers? Based on our work with schools, we’ve come up with these four top tips for boosting attainment that you might not have considered yet: 

Tip 1: Support metacognition

Metacognition, or the act of ‘learning to learn’, could give disadvantaged students a boost both in and out of the classroom. This strategy goes hand-in-hand with coaching a ‘growth mindset’ - the idea that intelligence can be changed, rather than being set in stone. 

Research shows us that teaching metacognitive strategies (alongside regular subject matter) has a big impact on disadvantaged students. Those who have an understanding of how they learn perform better than their peers who aren’t taught these strategies - and better still, supporting metacognition is a relatively low-cost way to improve attainment

Tip 2: Offer counselling 

Disadvantaged students often have a difficult or unsettled home life, which can impact their ability and motivation to learn at school. Schools have seen success through offering not only behavioural support to children and their families, but also offering emotional support to address underlying issues. Counselling can help children to identify and address their emotions, leading to greater mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. Using Pupil Premium to fund external counsellors, or to provide training to existing staff, is a great way to give disadvantaged students the help they need.

Tip 3: Encourage summer learning

Getting kids to spend their summer break doing more learning may seem like a tough sell, but summer programmes have been proven to improve attainment thanks to their small class sizes and clear learning aims. These don’t just have to be centred around core subjects - they can also be focused on careers, offering workshops with positive and inspirational role models. High aspiration is fundamentally linked to better attainment (thanks in part to that handy growth mindset we mentioned earlier), so raising aspirations in disadvantaged students should be one of the main goals of small group teaching. 

Tip 4: Use online tutoring

It’s no secret that individualised learning can do wonders for attainment, but it can be tough to provide in a class of 30 to 1. That’s where online 1:1 and 3:1 tutoring comes in. At MyTutor, we’re trusted by 1300+ schools and have supported more than 200,000 students with personalised tutoring that complements the great work of teachers to bridge the attainment gap. Our yearly Impact Report consistently finds that students enrolled in our programmes make on average one whole grade of progress in a term - that’s 2.5x the progress of their peers.

Our aim is to deliver 1:1 and small group tutoring to as many disadvantaged pupils as possible, because everyone deserves access to life changing tuition. That’s why we offer heavily subsidised tutoring to schools across the UK, with over 130,000 lessons now delivered through the National Tutoring Programme. 

Want more info on how online tutoring can help, and how you can use Pupil Premium to access it? Feel free to drop us an email at, or call us on 0203 695 1974.


Click here to learn more about the Pupil Premium Conference.