Education Observatory

Research in Education at the University of Wolverhampton

Students’ views

Our research found that schools which do student voice well have smaller progress gaps between pupil premium and non-pupil premium students. It also showed that students and teachers have very different views about pupil premium. Students tend to believe that teachers do not apply rules consistently and that students from lower income families are often stigmatised. Teachers are much more likely to believe that they treat all students the same. The resources you can access here bring together views expressed in interviews conducted with students and staff in 30 schools.

Key messages

  • Students and teachers have different views about many issues related to the pupil premium.
  • Students and teachers have different lives and backgrounds. Students tend to understand this and its effects better than teachers.
  • Students and teachers see fairness differently in relation to pupil premium. Students focus on individual and family circumstances; teachers are more likely to concentrate on broader policy and strategy issues.
  • Students want schools to be more open about pupil premium and focus on reducing prejudice, misunderstanding and stigma.
  • Students do not believe teachers are consistent in how they treat students, teachers do.
  • Some processes put in place to capture student voice do not work for all students, they only collect the voices of the most confident.
  • Teachers at schools with more pupil premium students tend to show more empathy and understanding towards students facing disadvantage.

Watch a film capturing student views