Our Programmes to support Vulnerable and Disadvantaged Learners

SAfE is working with the Surrey education community to help identify routes for narrowing the learning gap for vulnerable and disadvantaged learners.

Our 2020/2021 programme continues the ongoing work in Surrey to ameliorate the attainment gap that exists in all phases of learning. The recent annual report from the Education Policy Institute highlighted the challenge schools face as we collectively recognise the impact of the growing learning gap. 

SAfE is committed to working with partners across all phases, to ensure that all children and young people receive an inclusive education and a support offer that matches their needs. We will work to improve outcomes and progress for identified vulnerable groups including disadvantaged pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. As part of this work, SAfE will be focused on supporting schools to ensure that approaches align with Pupil Premium strategies and wider school improvement priorities.

Our ongoing Pupil Premium programme focused on a Curriculum based approach or Literacy based approach have been combined and a dedicated programme has resumed this term with hugely valuable input from Christine Counsell. For resources from these autumn 2020 sessions please visit the website media library.

In addition we are delighted to collaborate with Marc Rowland in the next phase of our work on addressing the attainment gap in Surrey. Marc will work with us to better understand the Surrey specific landscape across Primary and Secondary phase. Some of this work will be phase specific and where appropriate it will be cross-phase and address transition issues. Some of this work will be also delivered via our Primary Pupil Premium Networks. 

Raising outcomes for disadvantaged learners in Surrey Secondary Schools 

We are delighted to launch our programme for 2020/2021,  'Raising outcomes for disadvantaged learners in Surrey Secondary Schools' which is a partnership between SAfE and Marc Rowland (MR) 

We will kick off the programme with a FREE introductory session, open to ALL secondary schools on Wednesday 18th November 09.30-10.30. 

During this session, we will review the current evidence and consider guided questions for self-evaluation in schools around the disadvantage gap in Surrey.  The zoom link for the introductory session is HERE.

We ask that Head teachers attend the introductory session. Head teachers will be able to nominate another appropriate leader to attend subsequent questions. Following the session, schools will be able to register for the programme.

The programme consists of two strands:

Strand 1: Participation in Strand 1 is FREE to SAfE subscribing schools, and £200 for non-subscribing schools 

As a series of seven forums, each forum will focus on an ‘emerging theme’ identified by MR as he visits a range of Surrey Secondary schools (see later).  This will provide a ‘Surrey specific lens’ to use when considering the impact of disadvantage on learning in our schools. 

Schools will be invited to join an action learning set to learn and reflect together on the emerging themes. The action learning sets will run for a calendar year (Jan 2021-Jan 2022).  We anticipate that action learning sets will meet monthly (virtually). 


Programme timeline Autumn 2020 to Autumn 2021 



Free Introductory session  

18th November 2020 9.30-10.30 

Via zoom

Surrey Schools invited to join the programme and opt into strand 1 or strand 2 


MM to present current evidence and ‘guiding questions’ for schools to self-evaluate ahead of the forum with MR in December 

Forum 1 

December 1st 2020 

Marc Rowland to host forum for Surrey leaders on accurate self-evaluation on impact of disadvantage on learning in school 

January 2022 

Groups of 3 schools are organised into action learning sets 

Forum 2 

Wednesday 27th January 2021 

MR leads forum on emerging theme A 


During Spring term  

MR leads 15 x ½ day visits to the ‘strand 2 schools’ 

Forum 3 

Wednesday 24th March 2021 

MR leads forum on emerging theme B 


Forum 4 

May 2021 

Date TBC 


MR leads forum on emerging theme C 


Forum 5 

July 2021 

Date TBC 


MR leads forum on emerging theme D 


Forum 6 

September 2021 

Date TBC 


MR leads forum on emerging theme E 


Forum 7 

November 2021 

Date TBC 


MR leads forum on consolidation of learning and next steps thinking 



Strand 2: Participation in Strand 2 is £500 per school.  This covers the cost of the MR visiting your school. 

There is an opportunity for 15 schools to opt to be a ‘strand 2’ school.  

These schools will receive a ½ day Spring term visit by MR.  MR will liaise with each school ahead of the visit to arrange the following during the ½ day visit: 

  • Meeting with SLT and PP lead 
  • Meeting with teachers 
  • Meeting with students 
  • Lessons visits 

MR is keen to ensure that these visits do not require lengthy preparation/documentation.  They should be an opportunity to openly reflect with MR on the school specific challenges that socio-economic disadvantage has on learning. 

At the end of each half day visit, MR will: 

  • Provide reflection and feedback on observations in a meeting with SLT/PP lead 
  • Suggest next steps for the school 
  • Reflect on the findings and use them to identify ‘emerging themes’ around the impact of disadvantage in Surrey schools.  These themes will be the focus of the forums in strand 2 
  • Use findings to inform the report that MR will write about Surrey Secondary schools which identifies and celebrates effective practices and outlines the areas for improvement.

Details on how to register for the programme will be shared at the introductory session on 18th November 


Primary Disadvantaged Pupils

In January SAfE Launched a new programme to raise outcomes for Primary Disadvantaged Pupils.

Representatives from over 100 schools joined our initial launch event, which featured presentations from independent consultant Christine Counsell and Kirsty Godfrey, HMI and Ofsted national lead for phonics and early reading. You can read an article about the launch of this programme here.

For those joining our event on September 29th, please find the optional review documents we would like you to complete ahead of the event at the links below:


01483 749954

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