Schools across England are maximising the value of the Pupil Premium with Accelerated Reader and Star Reading

At £1320 for primary schools and £935 for secondaries, the Pupil Premium is a valuable source of funding for disadvantaged students. However, Ofsted inspectors are paying increasing attention to how it is being allocated. How can schools use the funding most effectively?

Additional growth for low-income students

The Pupil Premium was introduced back in 2011 in order to:

  • Raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils
  • Close the gap between them and their peers

An independent study conducted by the Education Endowment Foundation and Durham University in 2015 found that students using Accelerated Reader achieved an additional three months growth in reading age compared to their peers, over a 22-week period. Low-income students were found to achieve an additional five months growth with AR – outperforming their peers and closing the gap between them.

“The study shows that poorer children can catch up with their peers as long as the right choices are made by schools.”

Professor Stephen Gorard, Durham University School of Education

Read more research

Findings of the Education Endowment Foundation research


Funding per student in 2018/19

Primary £1320
Secondary £935
Looked-after children £1900
Service children £300

Interim progress monitoring for Pupil Premium students

AR and the Star Reading interim assessment provide reports of test results in custom groups, including those with Pupil Premium eligibility.

Because the test is quick and easy to administer, typically taken four times each year, teachers have the information they need to diagnose any potential problems early in the school year.


Reading is an indicator of success

Students who read for pleasure regularly are significantly more likely to perform better than their peers at school. By fostering a love of reading, Accelerated Reader (AR) motivates students to read and develop their reading skills which will help them on their way to success across the curriculum.

Reading Dashboard shown on a PC screen

The interactive online Reading Dashboard allows educators to see how well students are performing at class, group and individual level. It allows teachers to diagnose problems and inform intervention programmes.


“I use the reports within AR to monitor students’ progress… which helps to identify students who are struggling and allow teachers to direct their time appropriately.”

Gillian Charlton
Saint George’s Church of England School


“The AR Diagnostic reports are… clearly presented, so we have been able to implement intervention strategies at an early stage where necessary.”

Shirley Smith
Bluecoat Academy, Nottingham

Screenshots of the Screening Report and Student Growth report

The Screening Report identifies students who are performing above benchmark expectations, at benchmark, or below benchmark.
The Student Growth Report plots a student’s progress toward a previously set target, allowing you easily to determine if that student is responding to intervention.


“Our aim was to raise literacy standards, which we feel we have achieved through the use of Accelerated Reader.”

“Because we have been using AR as an intervention tool, Pupil Premium funding has been key to our implementation of the programme. We have used it to purchase books to be used with the programme and to support it with other resources such as prizes and incentives.”

The Mountbatten School, Hampshire

Find out more about Accelerated Reader

Speak to a member of our team

Call us to discuss your school’s needs with a member of our team. (Phones are manned Monday to Friday, 08:30 – 16:30.)

020 7184 4040

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Tell us about your requirements and we’ll tailor a quotation to your specific needs, including new discounts for small schools.

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Book an online demonstration

A member of our team will guide you through the programme in approximately 30 minutes. The demo can be arranged at a time to suit you.

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