The impact of Pupil Premium on the attainment gap in Wales : An investigation into the policy’s effect on the achievement of disadvantaged students and their peers

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Abstract: Education drives labour market outcomes and social mobility. When educational attainment is influenced by socioeconomic factors, many students from disadvantaged backgrounds are left behind. This is undesirable as it greatly reduces the human capital that could have been present in the national economy, therefore affecting the potential of economic growth. The purpose of this thesis is to analyse the impact of a policy that has the purpose of reducing the gap in educational attainment between disadvantaged students and their peers.  The analysis takes place over a 12 year time span and across 22 local authority areas in Wales. The results highlight the importance in the measure of the attainment gap. The implementation of Pupil Premium can be correlated with a reduction in the gap that is defined by the proportional difference between disadvantaged students and their peers. The magnitude of the attainment gap has stayed fairly constant but overall attainment has risen significantly over the period under analysis.  There is room for further study into the possibility that the impact of Pupil Premium has affected some groups of students more than others. 

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