This is an adapted version of an article written by Steve Higgins, Professor in the school of education at Durham University, which appeared in NGA's bi-monthly Governing Matters magazine.

This article summarises some of the findings from research I was involved with for the DfE and undertaken by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER). It aimed to identify successful strategies which schools have used to support the learning of their disadvantaged pupils. Leaders of more successful schools typically described embarking on their improvement journey some years ago.

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