Past experience matters most to schools, but research evidence is catching up

The Sutton Trust submitted two questions to NFER’s latest Teacher Voice Omnibus Survey, and the responses have been analysed and published in a new report. One question asked respondents to identify how their school decided which approaches and programmes to adopt to improve pupil learning. The most popular response was that their school used past experience to make these decisions, with 61% of primary teachers and 49% of secondary teachers choosing this option.

However, schools are increasingly using evidence to inform decision-making – 43% of primary teachers and 40% of secondary teachers said that their school made decisions by considering research evidence on the impact of different approaches. This figure was up from 36% in the same survey last year.

The respondents were also asked how the Pupil Premium was spent in their schools. Early intervention schemes ranked most highly as the spending priority in all schools (23%). This was followed by additional teaching assistants and more one-to-one tuition at primary level, and more one-to-one tuition at secondary level. However, 30% of respondents did not know what the main priority was in their school.

Source: NFER Teacher Voice Omnibus March 2013 Survey: Spending Priorities for the Pupil Premium (2013), NFER.

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