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Lessons for addressing educational disadvantage from a range of studies

Gorard, Stephen; Siddiqui, Nadia; See, Beng Huat

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Governments and education systems worldwide have tried using additional cash transfers to encourage school enrolment and attendance, and to reduce the attainment gap between disadvantaged students and their peers. There are now many strands of evidence on the success of such schemes. This paper presents the results of international structured reviews of the existing evidence, coupled with a natural experiment in India and Pakistan, and a summary of the new findings from a 14-year evaluation of the impact of the Pupil Premium policy in England. The paper addresses the key issue of whether funding is best provided to poorer regions, to schools, families, or individual students. The synthesised results are clear. However, the results differ slightly in terms of whether attendance or attainment is the key objective, and with the age of the students, and the level of development of any education system. Regardless, cash transfers need to have conditions attached, and these conditions must be audited. A key condition for giving money to schools, rather than individuals, should be that it is only used to provide evidence-led programmes and processes.


Gorard, S., Siddiqui, N., & See, B. H. (2023). Lessons for addressing educational disadvantage from a range of studies. Cogent Education, 10(2), 1-14.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 16, 2023
Online Publication Date Sep 25, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Sep 19, 2023
Publicly Available Date Sep 19, 2023
Journal Cogent Education
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 2
Pages 1-14
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Published Journal Article (920 Kb)


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Copyright Statement
2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.

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