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Poverty Proofing the School Day: Evaluation and Development Report.

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Poverty Proofing
the School Day:
Evaluation and Development
Report
Laura Mazzoli Smith and Liz Todd
February 2016
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Poverty Proofing the School Day:
Evaluation and Development Report
Contents
Summary
Background
What is distinctive about the Poverty Proofing approach?
What has the Poverty Proofing initiative revealed?
What are the benefits for schools?
What are schools doing in response to the action plans?
Influence of Poverty Proofing outside of the North East
Impacts of Poverty Proofing
Cost of Poverty Proofing to schools
Barriers to engaging with Poverty Proofing
Conclusions and recommendations
Critical Issues
References and Bibliography
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Thanks
The authors would like to thank all the staff, parents, governors and children that agreed to talk to us. We
also give many thanks to Sara Bryson of Children North East for her assistance in enabling this research to go
ahead and to several generous readers of the draft report who offered their comments.
To cite this publication: Mazzoli Smith, L. and Todd, L. (2016) Poverty Proofing the School Day: Evaluation and
Development Report. Research Centre for Learning and Teaching, Newcastle University.
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Summary
Aims
The aim of Poverty Proofing the School Day is to remove barriers to learning which exist because of
the impacts of living in poverty. The Poverty Proofing audit consists of a whole-school evaluation, a
written report and action plan and training for staff and governors. It is aimed at uncovering
institutional and cultural practices which stigmatise pupils who live in poverty.
Action plans
Most of the issues raised in the action plans were generic across the schools. These included
extensive issues around ability/behaviour and setting, bullying, uniform, exams, extra-curricular
activities, support for parents and families, food, homework, resources, transport, tutor
groups/support for pupils, and school leadership and governance.
Immediate benefits of the Poverty Proofing process
Going through the process afforded schools an opportunity to reflect on the fact that children living
in poverty were being unwittingly stigmatised multiple times during the school day. Benefits also
included schools getting access to student and parent voice, having an external viewpoint of the
school, a better understanding of issues around poverty, and support on pupil premium spending.
Changes made
Schools could make some changes quickly and relatively easily in relation to the action plans, such
as reorganising the administration of free school meals, or setting up breakfast clubs and providing
more access to IT facilities for instance. Children North East were available to provide ongoing
support with respect to making changes.
Impacts of Poverty Proofing
There is evidence of impacts in relation to the programme aims in many of the schools, including
improved attendance and attainment, greater take up of free school meals, more effective use of
pupil premium funding, a less costly school day, and an increase in the uptake of school trips and
music tuition by the most disadvantaged pupils.
Barriers and Recommendations
The programme was thought of very highly by most of the schools that have completed it so far.
Not all schools remained engaged with the programme however and it was found to be very
challenging at times even for those that did. This highlights both the difficulty in meeting the
challenges of reducing stigmatization around poverty but also the fact that schools are part of a
wider society in which the impacts of living in poverty on everyday life are profound. Ways in which
the programme can be adapted to ensure greater buy-in, but also the wider societal context are
considered.
Evaluation
This report is the result of an evaluation of the Poverty Proofing the School Day audit process run
by Children North East. This evaluation was carried out by Laura Mazzoli Smith and Liz Todd and
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was funded by Newcastle University Institute for Social Renewal. It was based on analysis of poverty
proofing actions plans, observations of the process, and interviews with a range of practitioners.
Critical Issues
Whilst the programme has shown that it can be successful in meeting its aims and in highlighting
the extent of the stigmatization that occurs during the school day for pupils living in poverty, as well
as the increasing costs of the school day, it also raises a number of larger issues. The action plans
provide schools with recommendations to reduce stigma and cost within their school, however a
number of the issues covered are arguably issues that local authorities, government and also society
must address. They are issues which go beyond the school gate and which schools cannot therefore
be expected to address alone. This report includes an examination of these broader challenges and
considers the issues arising in school action plans in wider societal context.
Key Findings of the evaluation of Poverty Proofing the School Day
There is evidence of and real concern in schools about the rising costs
of the school day.
This is a high impact programme, which has revealed a huge array of
generic issues that are routinely, if unintentionally, stigmatising children
living in poverty and contributing to the increasing cost of the school
day.
The audit is challenging but highly effective, delivering to the school a
rare opportunity to give voice to its most disadvantaged pupils and their
families and see their practices through the eyes of all pupils, parents
and staff.
There are numerous benefits for the school as a result of going through
this process, including a shift in whole school ethos and culture and the
opportunity to make changes in response to the action plan, with
maximum impact on pupils.
There is early evidence of increased attendance and attainment of
disadvantaged pupils as a result of removing barriers to learning.
The audit provides a constructive opportunity to review pupil premium
spending and through this and other actions, reduce the cost of the
school day for pupils in real terms.
These impacts are dependent on the third party nature of the audit.
Whilst it is very important to share good practice in this area, it is
unlikely that the same benefits will be derived if a school reviews these
issues in isolation through a self-evaluation process.
Whole school buy in, including senior leadership and Academy Trust or
LA as appropriate, is crucial.
The fee is good value for money given the array of benefits the school
derives from this programme, the whole school learning and shift in
school culture which result, and the likely long-term impacts.
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Background
Poverty Proofing the School Day developed from a
project run by Children North East in 2011, in which
children living in poverty said what they most wanted
was an end to discrimination at school. This is within
a wider context of concern about the rising cost of the
school day, such as from The Teachers’ Union
NASUWT report The Cost of Education and a recent
analysis by the Children’s Society which has shown
that education-related costs make up a large
proportion of the family budget (Holloway et al 2014).
It is also within a context where the Institute for Fiscal
Studies has predicted that child poverty will increase
in the years to come (Joyce 2014) and that the impact
of the cost of the school day on poorer students will
get worse (Bragg et al 2015).
Poverty Proofing the School Day is an audit for
schools, developed by the charity Children North East
with the North East Child Poverty Commission. The
aim of the programme is to remove barriers to
learning which exist because of the impacts of living
in poverty:
There was a pilot in four North East schools (both
primary and secondary schools) in 2013-14 and from
this the kinds of questions now asked in the audit
were developed. Peer researchers were used in the
pilot secondary schools, a team of young people in
each year group trained to carry out the audit and
support the school in implementing actions.
In 2014-15 13 schools signed up for the audit at a
developmental fee. The process consists of:
an external evaluator speaking to all pupils in
the school in small groups;
an online questionnaire available for all
parents, staff and governors;
face to face interviews with parents, staff and
governors in situations where they request
this and/or this is beneficial;
a written report and action plan based on
responses to the questions posed;
a training session for staff and a training
session for governors;
ongoing support from Children North East to
implement the action plan.
Going forward Children North East hopes to develop
a sustainable national model with regional delivery
partners and they are developing accreditation for
those schools that have completed the audit through
a quality mark. They would then join an online
community of good practice in which they will
continue to receive support and be able to share best
practice with other schools.
This evaluation was carried out by Laura Mazzoli
Smith and Liz Todd within the Centre for Learning and
Teaching of Newcastle University and funded by
Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal. It is based on
the following:
observations of the process of working with
young people in two schools;
interviews with two Head teachers and two
Deputy Head teachers in three schools;
interview with a Chair of Governors;
interview with Children North East staff;
interview with the Local Authority Advisor in
North Lincolnshire;
observation of a staff training session;
attendance at a Schools North East
dissemination event;
analysis of all parental, staff and governor
questionnaire data;
analysis of all school action plans.
This allowed the evaluation team direct access to the
process and/or the views of staff in six of the 13
schools that have participated so far and indirect
access to data from all. Of the six schools where
primary data was gathered, the proportion of pupils
eligible for pupil premium ranged from 27% to 80%.
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What is distinctive about the
Poverty Proofing approach?
Most distinctive about this approach is that all pupils
in a school are interviewed in focus group sessions,
which do not shy away from dealing with the difficult
issues around poverty. All parents, staff and
governors are invited to fill out questionnaires, paper
and/or online and all the staff and governors receive
a training session run by Children North East on
poverty. The audit is therefore based on a whole-
school consultation and as is explored further below,
hearing directly from children living in poverty about
their experiences is unusual.
Whilst this may sound onerous, particularly for a large
school, the process is managed well, with pupils being
taken out of lessons in small groups for a short focus
group, over a number of days, so that at any one point
there is little impact on school life. Schools did not
state that they found the process onerous or
disruptive, rather the opposite, stating that they
valued this rare opportunity to hear from the whole
school community.
The audit is explicitly values-led and unflinching in its
exploration of all aspects of poverty, based on a well
evidenced and strongly articulated set of arguments
around the negative impacts of poverty on learning
(see the Critical Issues section at the end of this
report). It is aimed not at finding individuals who
discriminate against pupils living in poverty, but at the
institutional and cultural practices which do this and
as such the focus is on whole-school impact at the
level of practices and behaviours, but also beliefs and
ethos.
The process is also distinctive in that in some schools,
particularly in the pilot phase, it has trained and
supported pupils to go into partner schools and carry
out part of the audit as peer researchers.
What has the Poverty
Proofing initiative revealed?
The action plans available from participating schools
have detailed a range of areas in which action points
emerged. Each action plan detailed on average in
excess of 30 issues/barriers to learning and whilst
some issues were pertinent to particular schools,
most were generic across all the schools. Many are
school processes and practices which appear to be
minor and which could therefore be easy to change,
but the negative impact on pupils was shown to be
great. Most of the changes advised in the action plan
can be carried out with no, or little, financial
implications for the school. The areas raised in the
action plans covered elements of much of school life,
including:
setting
bullying
uniform
examinations
extra-curricular activities
school support for parents and families
staff relationships with/ support for pupils
food
homework
resources
transport
school leadership/governors.
Particularly significant issues and therefore areas of
greatest concern, as detailed in the case studies
below, involved uniform, the administration of free
school meals (FSM) and the cost of extra-curricular
trips and activities. Table 1 below contains some case
studies of the kinds of issues raised in these areas,
along with examples of what schools are doing to
address them.
The list of issues that were picked up in the action
plans can appear to be daunting, as so many areas of
school life are implicated, but as this report will
highlight, many issues can be easily addressed. It is
important to note that the range of areas addressed
in the school action plans highlights how many ways
there are for a child living in poverty to feel further
marginalised at school and how easy it clearly is for
schools to overlook some of the practices and
processes which can lead to stigmatization. It was
notable that schools regularly commented on the fact
that they had not been aware of the impact of some
school practices on pupils living in poverty and they
were often surprised to find out that pupils and
parents had a different perspective on these. This
disparity between school perceptions and
pupil/parent perceptions is clearly very significant.
It was notable that in many of the schools actions
could be taken quickly and relatively easily to address
some of the key areas of concern arising in the action
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plans. It could be argued therefore that there is an
inverse relationship between the level of stigma a
child feels as a result of some school practices and the
relative ease with which these practices can be
changed. It must also be said that many of the items
in the action plans were areas that staff had already
given consideration to. An example of this was the
administration of FSM. Yet in some of these areas
staff were also unaware that stigma continued to be
experienced and taking action would involve a degree
of problem solving on the part of the staff. Later in
this report some of these issues are also
contextualized in the light of what wider society can
do, as not everything picked up in the Poverty
Proofing action plans can - or should - necessarily be
dealt with solely by schools.
Table 1: Case studies demonstrating impacts of
Poverty Proofing the School Day
Uniform
One of the schools using young people as peer
researchers heard from pupils at a neighbouring
school that the cost of their school uniform was too
high. As a result it was brought down. The school
has also become more proactive about discretely
giving pupils uniform when they clearly do not
possess it, rather than resorting to punishment.
They even take their pupils to the local shoe shop to
replace their shoes and have an account at the
school uniform supplier to buy items for pupils
whenever these are needed.
One of the schools noticed for the first time, as a
result of Poverty Proofing, that some of their pupils
had never attended school on charity dress-up
days, so the number of these has been cut and
other ways to raise money for charity found. This
school has also started a second-hand uniform
shop at school.
However attempts to change uniform policy are not
easy. In one of the participating schools for
instance, the action plan highlighted the fact that
pupils were routinely spending £100 on trainers
and those who could not afford this felt
stigmatized. The Head teacher therefore decided to
buy standard school trainers for all pupils, but this
was very unpopular, even with the pupils and their
families who could least afford expensive trainers.
The school has now moved to a policy that all pupils
must wear black shoes, avoiding trainers
altogether.
Extra-curricular activities
Concern was felt in one school about the fact that
parents were often worried about a letter
potentially coming home any day asking for money
for a trip. This was exacerbated with siblings in
school and challenging as these costs could not be
planned for. As a result this school has instigated
an audit of all the trips for which money is being
requested, as they realised there was no central
information held. They are responding by
reconsidering the value of all their trips and looking
into a way of notifying parents at the start of a
school year about what trips are due to take place,
giving them a longer timeframe in which to pay.
It was highlighted to another school that they had
been charging pupils for a fieldtrip which is a
compulsory part of coursework and this is illegal.
Pupils in another school had also talked about how
lists of those still owing money for trips was
routinely read out in class, stating that the trips
could not happen without payment, yet this does
not accord with the voluntary nature of the
contribution. This school will no longer publically
discuss payment for trips and is looking at more
proactive ways of supporting parents who find
these payments difficult and also of subsidising
trips.
Food
In one school the administration of school lunches
clearly marked out the children on FSM through a
list of highlighted names in the dinner hall and
classrooms. These children, when paying for their
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lunch, also lost any change that they were owed, as
they were unable to carry this forward like children
not on FSM. The audit pointed out that this was
discriminatory and changing this could enable
children to purchase extra snacks at break-time or
breakfast at the low cost breakfast club.
Another school reorganised the administration of
their lunches, moving to a cashless, anonymous
system. They immediately stopped selling bottled
water at break-times and are more proactive about
encouraging eligible children to claim FSM,
recognising that family circumstances can
frequently change.
A further school has collected a range of different
lunch boxes which they now put FSM in for taking
on trips, to replace the stigmatizing paper bags
which had been the norm. Lunch-time has been
lengthened to ensure pupils have adequate time to
eat a hot meal and the school council has been
involved in improving the dining experience and
tackling some of the myths that were held about
the school meals, which deterred children eligible
for FSM from claiming them.
What are the benefits of the
process for schools?
Negative impacts on children living in poverty were
felt in almost all areas of school life. Many schools are
aware of the effects of poverty on children and all had
taken action within their schools already. However,
the schools we spoke to were not aware of the extent
of the effects of poverty on the school day. Therefore
the greatest single benefit of going through the
process was the opportunity to reflect on the fact that
children living in poverty were being stigmatised
multiple times during the school day. Far from schools
deliberately maintaining stigmatising practices, they
were often unaware of the impact of some of their
practices on pupils living in poverty and were only too
pleased to have these issues brought to the fore, even
if it was a challenging process. Schools also reported
significant additional benefits as a result of the
process itself:
gaining extensive student, staff and parental
voice;
an external viewpoint of the school not from
Ofsted;
a more nuanced understanding of the impacts
of poverty which they believed would continue
beyond the action plan i.e. there was a shift in
the school’s ethos;
the opportunity to discuss issues around
poverty, which some staff had rarely had
before;
support with spending of pupil premium funds
e.g. information about the Sutton Trust
Education Endowment Fund (EEF) Teaching and
Learning Toolkit;
changes in staff attitudes to parents in poverty
(including reception staff, administrators,
cleaners, dinner staff);
focus on ‘in-work poverty’ as well as pupils on
FSM;
improved attendance and attainment in some
schools as a result of this cultural shift (these
impacts are explored further below);
time and support to make changes which were
not previously seen as priorities.
Particularly successful was the peer researcher aspect
employed in some of the schools. One of the schools
involved in this exchange of young people highlighted
that it was only because of the expertise of Children
North East that this was possible and that they would
have struggled to manage anything like this on their
own. It was the impact of hearing about their school
from neighbouring pupils which they found
particularly powerful, stating that what this gave to
the school was ‘invaluable’ and could not have been
learnt any other way.
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What are schools doing in
response to the action
plans?
There were many ‘quick wins’ in response to the
action plans, with other issues being harder to tackle.
In fact some of the changes to school processes and
practices which were instigated happened before the
schools even received their action plans. The
conversations and external focus were themselves a
significant spur to change some things and the speed
with which some of the schools made changes
reflects how importantly they viewed the evidence of
stigmatization, but also how relatively easy it was to
effect change in some areas.
Actions which schools were able to implement
relatively quickly included:
instigating a self-audit of all trips being run in
school to find out how much money was
being asked for in each year;
reorganising the administration of FSM;
implementing free breakfast clubs/setting up
homework clubs using pupil premium funds
to subsidise places;
providing a free snack and drink to all pupils
before examinations;
reviewing the numbers of non-uniform days
being held and replacing some of these with
alternative fund-raising activities in school;
reviewing what resources were needed from
home to complete projects or homework and
ensuring that homework largely did not rely
on the acquisition of other resources;
improving IT access in and after school and
removing rewards for completing tasks
online;
distributing free uniform and PE kits/
changing the manner of distribution of
uniform and other resources;
not discussing any costs or debts with pupils
publically or sending debt letters home with
pupils;
challenging staff over whether asking pupils
to write about their holidays or presents was
appropriate and fair to all.
There are also more challenging, long-term issues
which schools are grappling with, as follows.
A perceived increase in the number and cost
of school trips. Several schools are
considering an annual statement to parents
who can then budget and/or pay in advance
and are also re-examining the educational
rationale for some of their trips.
Changes to uniform. Schools have not always
found it easy to reduce the burden of school
uniform costs. Some changes to uniform have
been controversial, even with parents who
are most likely to benefit from cheaper
uniform. There are also questions about
uniform changes which are arguably wider
than just single-school decisions. If some
individual schools decide to ‘level-down’ the
costs of their uniforms so these are all
available from a supermarket, whilst others
do not, what does this mean in terms of
between-school equality for pupils if some
Headteacher/Chair of governor/LA
Adviser quotes about Poverty Proofing
This has been one of the most impactful
programmes we have ever been involved
with.
The strengths of the audit are that every
child, parent, teacher and governor gets
spoken to and that views come primarily
from pupils, not Ofsted. A positive is that
you have help from Children North East to
implement the action plan, including
online resources.
It was worth every penny and good value
compared to other things that have been
paid for in the past.
It is not a package, it is a process leading
to a shift of ethos.
This is the best thing I’ve heard in 40
years!
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school uniforms are obviously far cheaper
that others?
A reduction in internet-based homework/
access to phones or other technology in
school. Again if some schools ‘level-down’
their expectation of pupils to use the internet
for instance, does this disadvantage these
pupils in comparison with pupils from other
schools that are not doing this or who are
actively increasing expectations on pupils to
access technology and the internet in their
work?
The influence of Poverty
Proofing outside of the
North East
In North Lincolnshire the challenge for many schools
is the small number of pupils on FSM and despite
good results overall, the lower attainment of these
children. The view from the Local Authority Advisor
was that ‘on paper North Lincolnshire doesn’t need
Poverty Proofing, but morally it does,’ as
conversations about poverty were not part of
conversations about closing the attainment gap.
Poverty Proofing has therefore made these pupils
visible, as well as those living in in-work poverty.
In North Lincolnshire there is now a licensed delivery
partner for the Children North East poverty proofing
audit process. The audit is carried out by two adults,
with the aim of preventing bias or misinterpretation.
To date, six schools have taken part in the pilot.
Eighteen staff at the LA have been trained to do the
audit and there is a waiting list of 30 schools, but since
LA staff fit this in alongside their roles, there is a lack
of capacity at the moment to meet demand. As a
result, generic aspects of good practice and top tips
are available on the LA website and schools are being
given an hour’s ‘taster’ to keep them interested and
also to give them ideas about things they can start to
do while they are on the waiting list.
The impact of Poverty Proofing in North Lincolnshire
has been considerable, with schools keen to take part
and excellent feedback from those who have. In order
to secure senior leadership buy-in, schools sign a
contract agreeing to complete and act on the audit.
The impact in North Lincolnshire shows that the
programme is just as effective and important with
schools that have fewer numbers of children living in
poverty.
Poverty Proofing is mentioned in Sunderland’s Child
and Family Poverty Joint Strategic Needs Assessment
as something that should be promoted more widely.
Cost of the School Day is a Glasgow Poverty
Leadership Panel project which ran during 2014-15,
inspired by the success of Poverty Proofing the School
Day. It has so far been run in eight Glasgow schools
with 339 young people and 111 staff.
Impacts of Poverty Proofing
The programme is still in its early stages so there are
no longitudinal data about the longer term impacts
and cumulative evidence over a number of years will
be important to collect. However as noted above,
there are already significant benefits for schools,
which come purely from taking part in the
programme, even before they have made significant
changes as a result of the action plan.
In carrying out this evaluation it is clear that for many
of the schools that have taken part, this has been a
transformative experience which they cannot praise
highly enough, whilst also being a very challenging
process as well. One school told the evaluators that
they had previously ‘put things out without
necessarily being aware of what the impact on
Head Teacher, Glasgow, involved in
Cost of the School Day
The main impact of the project in our school
is a change of mind-set. Rather than going
ahead and doing things, we’re really
thinking carefully about costs and financial
impact on our children and families - the
phrase ‘cost of the school day’ comes up
constantly now in our planning and
discussions. It’s not just an initiative or
project where we go back to normal after
it’s finished, there’s been a real shift in our
thinking.
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disadvantaged pupils would be’ but after the
programme, they ‘now consider the impact first.’
There is some evidence of specific impacts in line with
the programme aims as set out in Table 2 below.
Much of this is hard to evidence causally. However,
for some of the actions a theory of change from
actions to attainment can be argued in those
situations where actions lead to a noticeable increase
in school attendance. For example, in one school a
child’s lack of money for the bus fare meant she was
attending only 2 days a week. The school bought her
a bus pass and attendance is now almost 100% and
she is able to attend many after school activities.
A causal theory of change is less easy to demonstrate
when the impacts are seen in response to a cultural
shift in the school and as a result of numerous actions.
The point here is that the process itself initiates a
culture in which these actions are taken. So whilst it
is difficult to argue as yet that there is a causal link
between Poverty Proofing the School Day and
increased attainment for the most disadvantaged
pupils for instance (not least because of all the other
initiatives going on in school), there is good evidence
to demonstrate that the programme makes possible
a culture in which the right actions can be taken to
enable this to happen.
Several of the schools that have taken part state that
they have seen improved attendance and attainment
of their most disadvantaged pupils in response to this
cultural shift and the multiple actions that have been
taken. As one Head teacher said about the school
culture in relation to poverty ‘the attainment gap
shrinks when we get it right’.
In one of the pilot schools the impact of changes
made in response to the action plan could also be
seen at departmental level as a result of a very strong
infrastructure, with each faculty and department
having someone responsible for pupil premium and
the Poverty Proofing action plan linked to this, as well
as overall at senior management level. The staff said
that the impact was being felt at departmental level
because they could clearly see the structure and they
knew who they were answerable to.
Table 2: Evidence of the impacts of Poverty Proofing
the School Day
Impact on pupils
and families
living in poverty
Evidence to date
Improved pupil
attendance
In one school, a 5% rise in
attendance overall and a 7%
rise for pupils on FSM (almost
50% of the school cohort). In
the 6 North Lincolnshire
schools absence of pupils on
FSM fell in every school but
one after the initiative, whilst
the absence of the other
pupils rose in every school but
one.
Improved
attainment
Evidence from 7 North
Lincolnshire schools of greater
increases in the attainment
levels of pupils on FSM at KS1,
KS2 and KS4 than all other
pupils overall.
Improved take
up of FSM
In one school take up of FSM
is now almost 100% since
changes were made to its
administration, far in excess of
anything the school has
known previously.
More effective
use of pupil
premium
spending
Staff training sessions were
opportunities for schools to
learn about and scrutinise
their pupil premium spending.
Some schools changed their
priorities for these funds as a
result. Some schools were
introduced to useful tools
such as the EEF Toolkit for the
first time.
Improved
knowledge of
pupil/parent
issues
The difference between what
pupils/parents said and what
staff said revealed areas of
‘blindness’ where schools
were not aware of issues,
directly leading to changes
being made for the most
disadvantaged learners.
Less costly
school day
Some schools have provided
evidence of where they have
written to parents saying that
they do not need to buy
resources, PE kit or pay for
activities that they would
POVERTY PROOFING THE S C H O O L D A Y : E V A LUA T I O N A N D D E V E L O P M E N T R E P O RT
12
previously have had to pay for,
as these will now be
subsidised or removed, having
a direct impact on the cost of
the school day.
Increase in
pupils on FSM
attending school
trips and extra-
curricular
activities
In one school, as a result of
changing the payment
process, there has been an
increase in the number of
pupils on FSM attending the
Y5 and Y6 residential trips.
Several schools have set up
free/50p breakfast clubs
and/or homework clubs with
increases in pupils on FSM
attending.
Increased access
to musical
instrument
tuition
One school is funding 3 terms
of free musical instrument
tuition for all pupils (most of
which are on FSM) as this is
one of the activities pupils
from poorer families are least
likely to benefit from.
Removing the
ceiling on
attainment in
the curriculum
In several schools better
resources were enabling
pupils to score more highly in
coursework (e.g. DT). On
removing the requirement to
bring in resources from home,
all pupils have the same
possibility of achieving.
Cost of Poverty Proofing to
schools
Other than the initial spending on the initiative, costs
to schools to implement changes as a result of the
action plan have been low or negligible. Where
activities or clubs are being subsidised or fully funded,
this is often due to reprioritising pupil premium
funding and pupil premium funds have been used in
response to the action plans in all the schools.
Many schools already spend funding, in some cases of
significant amounts, on school uniform including
shoes and sports ware. We found no evidence that
such spending increased as a result of the poverty
proofing process but we did find evidence that
spending efforts were more appropriately and
effectively directed.
Many schools already subsidise trips and after school
activities although others would like to do so but lack
an adequate budget. For some the poverty proofing
process was able to inform ways that subsidies were
operated and provide a further opportunity to discuss
the extent of subsidy needed.
There are examples of pupil premium funding being
used to pay for a breakfast club for the year in one
school for instance and clothing in another. Before
Poverty Proofing some schools stated that it was
harder to argue that these kinds of support were
needed to close the attainment gap as there was little
evidence of a direct link to learning, but since the
initiative, they are being justified by schools on the
grounds of ‘removing barriers to learning’, with the
specific aim of improving the attendance and
therefore attainment of their most disadvantaged
pupils.
In some cases changes are beneficial in terms of cost.
One school in North Lincolnshire has made changes
to a charity fund-raising day, which led to double the
funds usually raised by this event. By not specifying
how much money children should bring in, those with
little or nothing were not under pressure, whilst those
willing and able to bring in more clearly did. Another
school set up a second hand uniform shop in response
to their action plan, from which some pupils get to
take free uniforms and others donate money and/or
their uniform on leaving the school.
Barriers to engaging with
Poverty Proofing
Although most of the schools that signed up for the
Poverty Proofing process were fully engaged one
school did not complete it and another did but did not
follow up on the action plan. A range of stakeholders
were asked about the barriers to engaging with this
programme and the following issues and suggestions
about possible changes to the programme as it
develops arose.
The lack of personal experience of poverty of
many staff/governors in the school was said
POVERTY PROOFING THE S C H O O L D A Y : E V A LUA T I O N A N D D E V E L O P M E N T R E P O RT
13
to have made the audit process harder in
several schools.
Having worked hard to do well against
Ofsted criteria, several schools were not
receptive to yet more scrutiny. One Chair of
Governors said about Poverty Proofing in
relation to Ofsted: This process and the
demands on the school for self-evaluation
and reflection were quite different’.
Some staff felt the questions posed to pupils
and parents during the audit were leading
and they disengaged as a result. However,
Children North East state that the impacts of
poverty are often difficult to speak about and
therefore explicit opportunities have to be
provided for pupils to speak up which may
make people feel uncomfortable. The
delivery method in North Lincolnshire uses
two adults to run the focus groups in order
to avoid this.
Some staff found it difficult to accept the
conclusion of unwitting stigmatization as it
felt judgemental and they disengaged as a
result. Yet there is no doubt that it is and
largely has to be a challenging process in
order to reveal problematic practices.
Some staff could not see a connection to
learning and felt they were being asked to do
yet more to support areas that were not
directly connected with learning (although
this tended not to be the case with senior
leaders and Headteachers who were
receptive to the benefits to learning in the
main).
In the case of Academies, one issue identified
was the fact that some decisions needed to
be taken at Academy level and as such, were
out of the hands of the senior leadership
team or Principal.
Lack of senior leadership buy in and support
was a real problem, as staff needed to be
supported throughout the process - where
this was not led by the Head teacher in one
school, the programme was not completed.
Some schools feel they are highly aware of
the poverty experienced by their pupils and
that they already take all the action that is
possible given the demands on their time and
their available budget. This was stated
particularly by a school for which the majority
of pupils were eligible for FSM.
Arguably schools engaging with and paying for the
audit are already fairly forward thinking with regards
to wanting to tackle discrimination around poverty.
Even for some of these schools however the process
was demanding. There is therefore a significant
challenge in getting schools which are not open to the
idea of exploring the impact they have on pupils living
in poverty to get involved.
Schools that have been through Poverty Proofing
appear to be the best advocates, as was seen at an
event organised by Schools North East, which
attracted around 100 schools in the region to hear
from those who had been ‘poverty proofed’ and get
ideas about what they could do to improve their own
practice.
Conclusions and
recommendations
Overall the programme is clearly very impactful.
There is evidence of significant impacts on school
culture and ethos and some evidence of direct
impacts on pupils and their families. The Poverty
Proofing initiative suggests that small but widespread
changes, viewing all practices through the lens of
poverty, does play an important part in eradicating
barriers to learning for pupils that are economically
poor.
There now needs to be longitudinal analysis of the
impact of the initiative over time, as this evaluation is
carried out at an early stage, where schools are still
implementing aspects of the action plan, so it is too
POVERTY PROOFING THE S C H O O L D A Y : E V A LUA T I O N A N D D E V E L O P M E N T R E P O RT
14
early to argue for long-term, sustained benefits.
However it is clear that the process itself is central to
the benefits and impacts discussed here and a
number of schools talked explicitly about how it was
the fact that it was third party led that made the
difference (see quote in box below).
A key conclusion of this evaluation is therefore that it
is not necessarily enough for a school to adopt a self-
audit of these issues. Whilst this may be an important
step towards preparing for the Poverty Proofing
audit, in order to begin to raise an awareness of the
impacts of a school’s practices on pupils living in
poverty, the defining feature of this programme is the
third party collating of whole school voice.
Given the evidence already accruing of benefits to
schools and impacts on pupils, their families and
school staff, it therefore seems desirable for schools
to be encouraged to take part in the programme.
Children North East plans to make this programme
available nationally through regional delivery
partners. At the same time it is important to develop
the programme in such a way as to increase uptake
by schools, particularly those least likely to bring the
challenges of poverty and learning to the fore and
ensure their likely completion of the programme.
Messages for other delivery partners
As it stands the programme has had impact and was
well received by most of the schools that have
participated so far. However as stated several schools
did not fully complete the programme and/or
expressed some concerns about it. During the course
of the evaluation, suggestions therefore arose for
ways in which the programme could be made easier
to engage with without loss of impact. These
suggestions are outlined here, but it should be noted
that they are possible ways to expand the programme
based on feedback from some schools only.
Use of a team of two people to carry out the
audit to avoid concerns raised in several
schools about leading questions or other
bias.
Delivery of the action plan through a familiar
member of staff alongside the delivery
partner and through a focus on areas of good
practice alongside areas of concern, so as not
to alienate staff or governors.
Our observations of the programme led us to
believe that conversations about poverty
were sensitive to the likelihood that children
and indeed adults living in poverty would be
part of the discussions. Many children spoke
openly of their experiences of poverty and
this was handled well. One school however
felt that the process should avoid discussing
some of the harsh realities of living in poverty
with primary aged pupils in particular, such as
reduced life expectancy.
Ensuring Local Authority and/or Multi-
Academy Trust and/or Head teacher/senior
management buy-in e.g. through a signed
contract at the outset (in North Lincolnshire
the programme had greater credibility
because it was linked to pupil premium
funding and so it was viewed more as a school
improvement initiative than a social/pastoral
one, but this was in the context of a proactive
and supportive LA).
Continued use of student peer researchers
working between schools, as in the North
East pilot, as this was particularly well
received by the schools who took part in it.
Involvement of the school council in the
implementation of the action plan,
particularly where widespread myths are
being picked up about particular school
practices or school meals for instance.
Assistant Head Teacher and Head of
Department, participating school
Even now, although we obviously have
more expertise, I think we would value
someone coming in who could work with
students and who wasn’t one of us because
they [pupils] could say things to her
[Poverty Proofing auditor] which they
couldn’t say to us. They’re more open with
someone from outside and that’s what we
wanted…and it wasn’t a problem for us
because we wanted to engage with that.
They [pupils] do speak the most amazing
amount of common sense and that’s what
we need to hear.
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Immediate access to other schools who have
taken part to share good practice as soon as
the school action plan is received, for
instance through an online forum, so that
schools do not feel overwhelmed by how
much there is to change or isolated without
readily accessible examples of good practice
to draw on.
Greater access by all schools to the generic
issues raised, which should act as a lever to
encourage greater numbers of schools to buy
into the programme and to prepare them for
taking part.
Acknowledgement of where issues may be
more appropriate to address at local or
national level and therefore where schools
could work with other schools or local
authority/regional networks/government to
implement changes (e.g. in regards to school
uniform policy and school trips, as discussed
below).
What can schools do now?
Given that so many of the issues raised were generic
to all the schools, sharing good practice is not only
important for the schools who engage, but also for
other schools to begin to consider. This evaluation
highlights how going through the process conferred
added benefits however, particularly in engaging the
whole school staff in a cultural shift. There are good
reasons therefore to continue to expand the
programme as a whole school audit across the
country so that schools can buy into it.
Meanwhile it is important for schools to begin to
consider some of the generic issues emerging. As
discussed, an issue frequently raised was the number
of school trips for which parents need to contribute.
There was a perception in some schools that trips
were becoming more common and/or destinations
more expensive and that overall schools were unclear
when and how much parents were being asked for. In
addition there were examples of children being
singled out in class to pay their contribution, yet this
is and should be voluntary.
There was also evidence from the children
interviewed in several of the schools that they would
sometimes not pass their parent/s a letter about a
school trip requesting a financial contribution in the
knowledge that this would cause stress and anxiety.
This has been documented elsewhere (Ridge, 2002)
and is important for schools to be cognisant of with
respect to the way in which funding for trips is
requested.
This is part of a wider awareness of children’s coping
strategies to manage and negate the impacts of
poverty on their lives that schools should be aware of
(Hooper et al 2007). This is particularly the case
where these strategies can be misconstrued and
punished as something else e.g. forgetfulness,
truancy, poor academic performance. It is therefore
not only the practices of schools in relation to
lessening the stigma of poverty which should be
widely shared, but also those of pupils too, as
highlighted by the Poverty Proofing audit. Children
are necessarily active and resourceful in mediating
the effects of poverty (Ridge 2011).
Another area of concern was the increased number of
non-uniform days, either for charity fund-raising, or
for specific events such as World Book Day. Pupils are
routinely asked to dress up on World Book Day for
instance, but the fact that supermarkets now sell
costumes of popular children’s characters points to
the commercialization of this and other events. In this
instance it is somewhat ironic given that World Book
Day is ostensibly about literacy and literature, but
dominant in the minds of some families is the
commercialization of the event and the pressure to
spend money. Schools can remain cognisant of this by
asking whether these more costly activities genuinely
contribute to learning, or whether, as in this example,
commercialization might even detract from the
central focus of the event.
A further key area of concern is the increasing cost of
uniform in some schools and the requirement to use
a particular supplier for instance. The
recommendations in the Poverty Proofing action
plans that schools reduce uniform costs and enable
parents to purchase uniform at a supermarket mirror
those made elsewhere, such as in the Children’s
Poverty Proofing the School Day Top Tips
www.povertyproofing.co.uk
Ensure all activity and planned activity in
schools does not identify, exclude, treat
differently or make assumptions about
those children whose household income or
resources are lower than others.
POVERTY PROOFING THE S C H O O L D A Y : E V A LUA T I O N A N D D E V E L O P M E N T R E P O RT
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Commission on Poverty report At What Cost?
Exposing the Impact of Poverty on School Life as well
as the Department for Education guidance on cost
effective uniform. Schools do indeed need to reflect
on uniform costs, but this is arguably a wider issue
than one just for a single school to grapple with. If
some schools, particularly those with large numbers
of pupils living in poverty, ‘level down’ uniform costs,
this may improve equal access to the same uniform
within these schools, whilst creating more inequality
between schools, if other schools continue to require
their pupils to wear bespoke blazers and logoed
uniform. Is this then an issue which is important to
tackle nationally so that guidance to schools effects a
levelling across schools and not only within them?
There may be a consensus amongst school leaders
and other stakeholders that it is important for schools
to expect their pupils to wear high quality uniform,
arguably particularly for the most disadvantaged
children, but if this is the case, then there must also
be appropriate subsidy. A pupil has to eat during the
school day and a subsidised meal for the poorest is
the appropriate policy response. If a child is also
expected to wear a high quality, expensive uniform
with no choice in the matter, or the risk of bullying or
punishment for incorrect uniform, then a subsidised
uniform for the most disadvantaged children is
arguably also the appropriate policy response here.
This is another reason why issues such as these must
be taken up on a larger platform than just individual
school level, or well-meaning actions taken by
individual schools, such as these in relation to school
uniform, could create additional inequalities.
Critical Issues
The discussion above points to the fact that poverty
cannot be tackled by schools alone. There has been a
long-running debate in education about how far
schools can compensate for society, in the sometimes
misrepresented words of Basil Bernstein (1970) and
the issues raised by Poverty Proofing the School Day
are at the sharp end of this debate.
Poverty clearly needs to be tackled by structural
changes that lead to improvements for example in
skills, jobs, incomes and housing. Most people would
agree that schools are only part of such a structural
solution (Cummings et al 2011; Raffo et al 2007), but
this evaluation has highlighted that teachers have
differing perspectives on how far schools are or can
be part of this. Yet given the wider context, it is vital
that this remains a priority area for schools.
The wider context is that child poverty in the UK is
increasing as a result of such policies as the ‘bedroom
tax’ (Moffatt et al 2015) and because of higher
inflation rates faced by poorer households (Joyce
2014) within a post-recession era. This is also in a
context where children living in disadvantaged
households are more likely to have additional
household responsibilities (Wikely et al 2007) and
where there is a growing prominence of in-work
poverty.
Given that publicly funded education is supposed to
be free, it appears that we are witnessing the impact
of the creeping increase in the cost of state
education. In 2012-13 the proportion of children in
poverty living with a working parent in the UK was
61% (Joyce 2014). Poverty is not an easy subject to
talk about anyway as it exists in an atmosphere of
denial and moral condemnation (Shildrek and
MacDonald 2013). Add to this the perceptions of
some working families, highlighted by the Poverty
Proofing audit, who feel invisible as a result of being
in in-work poverty with little associated support and
it is clear that the question of what schools can to do
support pupils living in poverty is particularly
pressing.
Yet this question has not been investigated in detail
and the fact that most of the negative impacts of the
school day on pupils living in poverty were as a result
of stigmatization which schools were largely unaware
of, highlights further the way in which these problems
can too easily remain hidden. This is not easy to do
something about yet this evaluation demonstrates
that it is possible, though not easy, to create a
programme which brings these issues to light and
finds out what schools can do in terms of the costs of
the school day.
This report demonstrates, crucially, that in tackling
the impact of poverty there are very real effects on
pupils’ ability to learn. It highlights that the tendency
to create a divide between schools working towards
educational ends and social/pastoral ends is a false
one. Of key importance therefore is how Poverty
Proofing the School Day demonstrates that what
schools can sometimes designate as social or pastoral
support directly impacts on ability to learn. The issues
raised here are very real barriers to learning and
should be dealt with by schools as such, but in
POVERTY PROOFING THE S C H O O L D A Y : E V A LUA T I O N A N D D E V E L O P M E N T R E P O RT
17
addition, they should be seen as impacts of living in
poverty that are also widely stigmatized at a societal
and cultural level.
Of key significance about Poverty Proofing the School
Day is that children are asked to talk about their
experiences of living in poverty directly. This is very
unusual, yet as stated in a review of research
exploring the lives of children living in poverty (2011):
Schools cannot be viewed in isolation of course and
attempts to reduce the cost of the school day should
be considered in wider context. A difficult balancing
act for schools is therefore to situate any actions they
take in the wider context of other schools and this will
inevitably mean difficult conversations about what
pupils should fund and what schools should subsidise.
Yet there is ample evidence about the comprehensive
ways in which poverty can structure and restrict
everyday childhood experiences leading to anxiety,
unhappiness and insecurity (Ridge, 2011). Inevitably
therefore this will include children’s experiences of
being in school as is evidenced in this report. It is to
be hoped that Poverty Proofing the School Day, in-
depth and child-oriented in its processes and practical
and applied in its recommendations, signals a sea-
change in how schools understand and engage with
the reality of how a child living in poverty experiences
the school day in twenty-first century Britain.
Professor Tess Ridge, Department of Social
and Policy Sciences, University of Bath
Without a good understanding of how
poverty and disadvantage are experienced,
interpreted and mediated by
disadvantaged children, there is the
possibility that policies will falter or fail to
constructively address the social, material
and personal impacts of poverty in
childhood. It is therefore vital to engage
with low-income children and take account
of their views in the development of policies
and the commissioning of services.
The pervasive effects of poverty within
school meant that children’s secure social
integration within school was threatened,
and children’s narratives of school life were
often infused with anxiety, uncertainty and
a sense of unfairness.
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References
Bernstein, B. (1970) ‘A Critique of the Concept of
‘Compensatory Education’’ in D. Rubinstein, C.
Stoneman (Eds.), Education for Democracy,
Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.
Bragg, J., Burman, E., Greenstein, A., Hanley, T.,
Kalambouka, A., Lupton, R., McCoy, L., Sapin K. and
Winter, L. A. (2015) The Impacts of the ‘Bedroom Tax’
on Children and Their Education. A Study in the City of
Manchester. University of Manchester.
Cummings, C., A. Dyson and L. Todd. (2011). Beyond
the School Gates: Can Full Service and Extended
Schools Overcome Disadvantage? London:
Routledge.
Department for Education (2013) School Uniform:
Guidance for governing bodies, school leaders, school
staff and local authorities. DFE-00198-2013
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/scho
ol-uniform
Holloway, E., Mahony, S., Royston S. and Mueller, D.
(2014). At What Cost? Exposing the Impact of Poverty
on School Life. Children’s Commission on Poverty,
Http://Bit.Ly/1qe8xzu (Accessed: 28 February 2016).
London: The Children's Society.
Hooper, C. A., Gorin, S., Cabral, C. and Dyson, C.
(2007) Living with Hardship 24/7: The diverse
experiences of families in poverty in England.
NSPCC/The Frank Buttle Trust: London.
Jocye, R. (2014). Child Poverty in Britain: recent trends
and future prospects. London: Institute for Fiscal
Studies, IFS Working Paper W15/07.
Moffatt, S., Lawson, S., Patterson, R., Holding, E.,
Dennison, A., Sowden S. and Brown, J. (2015). A
Qualitative Study of the Impact of the UK ‘Bedroom
Tax’. Journal of Public Health:fdv031.
NASUWT (2014) The Cost of Education.
http://www.nasuwt.org.uk/consum/groups/public/
@education/documents/nas_download/nasuwt_01
3630.pdf
Raffo, C., Dyson, A., Gunter, H., Hall, D., Jones L. and
Kalambouka, A. (2007). Education and Poverty: A
Critical Review of Theory, Policy and Practice. York:
Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Ridge, T. (2002) Childhood Poverty and Social
Exclusion: From a Child’s Perspective. Policy Press:
Bristol.
Ridge, T. (2011) The Everyday Cost of Poverty in
Childhood: A review of qualitative research exploring
the lives and experiences of low-income children in
the UK. Children and Society, 25(1): 73-84.
Shildrick, T. and MacDonald, R. (2013). Poverty Talk:
How People Experiencing Poverty Deny Their Poverty
and Why They Blame ‘the Poor’. The Sociological
Review 61(2):285-303.
The Children's Commission on Poverty (2014) At
What Cost? Exposing the impact of poverty on school
life. London: The Children’s Society.
Wikeley, F., et al (2007). Educational relationships
outside school. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Biographical Details
Laura Mazzoli Smith and Liz Todd are members of the
Research Centre for Learning and Teaching (CfLaT),
based in Newcastle University School of Education,
Communication and Language Sciences. They have
expertise in evaluation, research and project
management on a local, national and international
basis. Laura Mazzoli Smith is a researcher in CfLaT and
her most recent publication with Liz Todd and Karen
Laing is a chapter entitled Educating urban youth: fair
or foul? in S. Davoudi and D. Bell (Eds) Justice and
Fairness in the City published by Policy Press. Liz Todd
is Professor of Educational inclusion and her most
recent book is Beyond the School Gates, published by
Routledge with C. Cummings and A. Dyson. CfLaT has
a strong orientation towards applied research and
impact, developed through a range of work exploring
a variety of innovations, and is widely recognised as
an effective University partner in developing
research-led practice.
1
Research Centre for Learning and Teaching
School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences
Room 2.50
King George VI Building
Queen Victoria Road
Newcastle University
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 7RU
ENGLAND
@cflat4change
... There are two notable campaigns. In some parts of North East England an audit was produced to 'poverty proof' the school day (Mazzoli-Smith & Todd, 2016). On a wider scale the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland launched a campaign to uncover the hidden costs of the school day in state funded schools (Child Poverty Action Group, 2022). ...
... This paper interrogates evidence from the Poverty Proofing the School Day Evaluation and Development Report (Mazzoli Smith and Todd 2016), to better understand the widespread but hidden phenomenon of inschool stigmatization of children who live in poverty. We set out in this exploratory paper, through a process of abductive reasoning, to offer a plausible case to understand how and why this is happening. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper draws on an evaluation of the Poverty Proofing the School Day initiative. It outlines an argument arrived at through abductive reasoning to explain the generic and widespread instances of the stigmatization of disadvantaged pupils that have been uncovered. The process of abductive reasoning necessitated broadening the conceptual framework through which we usually understand poverty and its impacts on education and in so doing we take account of the affective, or psychosocial dimensions and the attendant coping strategies that result. Listening to children's descriptions of poverty and its impacts on schooling is an essential aspect of better understanding these non-material aspects of poverty and their ramifications for all involved. There is, however, a lack of time and appropriate structures in schools to attend to this wider conceptualisation of poverty, yet the outcomes of Poverty Proofing the School Day demonstrate that schools do have a significant role to play in reducing barriers to learning that result. We make the case that the specific conditions of high-stakes performativity in which schools operate and the dominance of instrumental and metrics-based responses to issues around poverty and learning, reduce the visibility of the affective dimension and in so doing, enable unwitting stigmatization to result.
Chapter
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Karar verme yanlılıkları, yöneticilerin etkili karar vermelerinin önündeki engellerdir. Çoğunlukla finansal kararlardaki rolü araştırılan karar verme yanlılıklarının, son zamanlarda tüm yönetici davranışları üzerindeki etkileri incelenmektedir. Kontrol altına alınmaz ve doğru analiz edilmezse bu yanlılıklar, örgütlerin zarara uğramasına neden olabilir ve sonunda örgütlerin varlıklarını bile tehdit edecek noktaya gelebilir. Alanyazında bu zamana kadar çok sayıda karar verme yanlılığına vurgu yapıldığı görülmekte ve farklı görüşler olsa da karar verme yanlılıkları bilişsel ve duygusal olmak üzere ikiye ayrıldığı ifade edilmektedir. Bu çalışma kapsamında karar verme yanlılıklarından en fazla incelenen, daha fazla araştırmacının varlığı üzerinde uzlaştığı ve neticesinde olumlu/olumsuz etkilerini gözlemlemenin daha mümkün olduğu karar verme yanlılıkları ele alınmıştır.
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The value of parental engagement in the learning of children and young people has repeatedly been shown to be of value in the literature, and in practice. One of the ways many parents feel they can be involved in their children’s learning is through support with homework, and homework forms a ubiquitous part of schooling in most systems. However, parental engagement with homework has been shown to be problematic in the literature. This paper combines the literature on parental engagement, with that on both the effectiveness and purposes of homework and that on the importance of mastery orientations for young people, to argue that the effective forms of parental engagement in young people’s homework will be engagement that supports and leads to mastery orientations on the part of children. The paper includes a schematic for this engagement and concludes with principles for designing homework tasks.
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Poverty in early childhood is pervasive, affecting every aspect of children’s lives. Under current government policies child poverty in the UK is predicted to rise to 40 per cent by 2022. Dominant discourses of poverty have historically focussed on an over‐arching discourse of moral responsibility, essentially relating to notions of deserving and underserving poor. This paper examines how government policy continues to significantly impact on young children and families on low incomes in early childhood and how stigmatised discourses about welfare, work are pervasive. It is argued that discourses of redistribution and children’s rights deserve greater recognition if poverty is to be addressed.
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En este artículo reflexionamos en torno al derecho a la educación. En los países ricos uno de cada cinco jóvenes no alcanza las competencias básicas. En el caso de España, se ponen de relieve importantes desigualdades educativas ligadas al origen socioeconómico de los estudiantes. A partir de la recopilación de datos de informes nacionales e internacionales, así como de investigación cualitativa propia, identificamos los factores inhibidores del éxito educativo en contextos de pobreza. Concluimos que debemos avanzar hacia un modelo de equidad educativa a partir de abordar el fracaso escolar en contextos de pobreza infantil desde una perspectiva integral y sistémica, con la promoción de acciones universalistas y preventivas desde la comunidad con la colaboración de los diferentes agentes socioeducativos.
This paper considers whether the impact agenda that has developed over the last decade in UK universities is likely to help create the conditions in which critical educational research makes a more visible difference to society. The UK audit of university research quality (the research excellence framework (REF) now includes an assessment of impact. Impact pathways are requirements of both national and European Union research funding bodies and the Australian Research Council. Issues in the assessment of the social impact of research are explored by the European projects Evaluating the impact of EU SSH, social science humanities, research (IMPACT-EV) and ACcelerate CO-creation by setting up a Multi-actor Platform for Impact from Social Sciences and Humanities (ACCOMPLISSH). For many UK researchers the institutional focus on influencing the world outside the academy has brought welcome support and resources to engage with society and may appear to bring universities back to something approaching their original civic identity. However, evidence from across the academy suggests that impact as depicted in REF impact case studies does not accurately represent the experience either of the academic research endeavour or of impact as it may be more broadly construed. Analysis reported here of 85 highly rated impact case studies in the education unit of assessment of the 2014 REF suggests there is a risk that the REF impact process will embed a shift against qualitative and theoretically driven methodology that is often found in socially critical educational research. Impact is postured as neutral, hiding the neoliberal drive towards research models based on implementation, evaluation and policy. There is a need to create spaces in universities for rethinking of the impact agenda, perhaps looking at value or social creation instead of, or as an integral aspect of, impact.
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Background The implementation of the ‘Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy’ in April 2013, commonly known as the ‘bedroom tax’, affects an estimated 660 000 working age social housing tenants in the UK, reducing weekly incomes by £12–£22. This study aimed to examine the impact of this tax on health and wellbeing in a North East England community in which 68.5% of residents live in social housing. Methods Qualitative study using interviews and a focus group with 38 social housing tenants and 12 service providers. Results Income reduction affected purchasing power for essentials, particularly food and utilities. Participants recounted negative impacts on mental health, family relationships and community networks. The hardship and debt that people experienced adversely affected their social relationships and ability to carry out normal social roles. Residents and service providers highlighted negative impacts on the neighbourhood, as well as added pressure on already strained local services. Conclusions The bedroom tax has increased poverty and had broad-ranging adverse effects on health, wellbeing and social relationships within this community. These findings strengthen the arguments for revoking this tax.
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This chapter studies the insights provided by the children throughout the study presented in this book. It explores how incorporating the perspectives of children and young people from low-income and disadvantaged families into policy and practice can lead to a greater understanding of childhood poverty and social exclusion. The chapter shows the things one can learn from listening to children, and stresses the importance of mediating factors in understanding the experiences of children. Policy recommendations and key issues that arose from the study are also addressed.
Article
Drawing on life history interviews with sixty men and women in north-east England who were caught up in ‘the low-pay, no-pay cycle’, this article describes how people living in poverty talk about poverty – in respect of themselves and others. Paradoxically, interviewees subscribed to a powerful set of ideas that denied poverty and morally condemned ‘the poor’. These findings are theorized in four ways: first, informants deployed close points of comparison that diminished a sense of relative poverty and deprivation; second, dissociation from ‘the poor’ reflects long-running stigma and shame but is given extra force by current forms of ‘scroungerphobia’; third, discourses of the ‘undeserving poor’ articulate with a more general contemporary prejudice against the working class, which fuels the impetus to dissociate from ‘the poor’ (and to disidentify with the working class); and fourth, the hegemonic orthodoxy that blames ‘the poor’ for their poverty can more easily dominate in contexts where more solidaristic forms of working-class life are in decline.
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This book, for the first time ever, critically examines the role of full service and extended schools. The authors draw on their extensive international evaluations of this radical new phenomenon to ask: (1) What do extended or full service schools hope to achieve, and why should services based on schools be any more effective than services operating from other community bases?; (2) What pattern of services and activities is most effective?; (3) What does extended schooling mean for children and families who are not highly disadvantaged, or for schools outside the most disadvantaged areas?; (4) How can schools lead extended services at the same time as doing their "day job" of teaching children?; (5) Why should schools be concerned with family and community issues?; and (6) Beyond the advocacy of "extended provision", what real evidence is there that schools of this kind make a difference, and how can school leaders evaluate the impact of their work? This book will be of interest to anyone involved in extended and full service school provision, as a practitioner, policy-maker, or researcher.
Article
This review of 10 years of qualitative research with disadvantaged children in the UK shows that despite some gaps in the knowledge base, there is now a substantive body of evidence exploring children’s lives and experiences from their own perspectives. The review reveals that poverty penetrates deep into the heart of childhood, permeating every facet of children’s lives from economic and material disadvantage, through the structuring and limiting of social relationships and social participation to the most personal often hidden aspects of disadvantage associated with shame, sadness and the fear of social difference and marginalisation.
At What Cost? Exposing the Impact of Poverty on School Life. Children's Commission on Poverty
  • E Holloway
  • S Mahony
  • S Royston
  • D Mueller
Holloway, E., Mahony, S., Royston S. and Mueller, D. (2014). At What Cost? Exposing the Impact of Poverty on School Life. Children's Commission on Poverty, Http://Bit.Ly/1qe8xzu (Accessed: 28 February 2016).
Educational relationships outside school
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Wikeley, F., et al (2007). Educational relationships outside school. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
The Cost of Education
NASUWT (2014) The Cost of Education. http://www.nasuwt.org.uk/consum/groups/public/ @education/documents/nas_download/nasuwt_01 3630.pdf
Child Poverty in Britain: recent trends and future prospects. London: Institute for Fiscal Studies
  • R Jocye
Jocye, R. (2014). Child Poverty in Britain: recent trends and future prospects. London: Institute for Fiscal Studies, IFS Working Paper W15/07.