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Disadvantage: widening the lens

Disadvantage in education

Explore the governing board's role in tackling educational disadvantage.

Pupils-learning class learning in the library around a table

Disadvantage in education is consistently reported as one of the biggest challenges that schools and trusts face. Having a clear focus on meeting the needs of disadvantaged pupils, who may need additional support to fulfil their potential, is fundamental to raising standards for all pupils in your school/trust.

NGA encourages governing boards to move beyond viewing eligibility for the pupil premium as the only indicator of disadvantage. We have established five broad drivers of disadvantage:

  1. Poverty
  2. Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
  3. Vulnerability (including looked after children and young carers)
  4. Certain ethnic groups
  5. Mental health and wellbeing

Our Widening the lens on disadvantage guidance is designed to help governing boards explore what disadvantage means in their context and to identify pupil groups who may need additional support. It forms an introduction to NGA's series of toolkits for tackling disadvantage in education.

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