Education Observatory

Research in Education at the University of Wolverhampton

Against the Odds: Achieving greater progress for disadvantaged students at Progress 8

The purpose of the study is to produce a comprehensive and accurate picture of the Progress 8 gap between disadvantaged students and their peers in English secondary state schools.

Current Projects
Overcoming disadvantage
Schools
  • Funder: Social Mobility Commission
  • Lead researcher: Sal Riordan

The purpose of the study is to produce a comprehensive and accurate picture of the Progress 8 gap between disadvantaged students and their peers in English secondary state schools and how schools have used pupil premium funding. We explored the characteristics of schools that have reduced or reversed the gap and have used the findings to create the Pupil Premium Primer, a website containing a range of resources to help schools to improve outcomes for disadvantaged students. 

Against the Odds had three phases:

  • Analysis of a large body of existing quantitative data and a nationwide survey into schools’ policies and approaches;
  • In-depth fieldwork to create 30 case studies of secondary schools;
  • Development and dissemination of the findings and practitioner resources. 

The study commenced in June 2019 and concludes in May 2021.

All of its outputs can be found on the Pupil Premium Primer website.