Understanding and Tackling Underachievement in Primary Schools


Understanding and Tackling Underachievement in Primary Schools
Oct 2010


Underachievement in school is a huge issue affecting almost all pupils at some point of their school career. Underachievement is a relative concept, affecting some pupils more seriously than others, but it can happen to anyone at any time, and to some pupils for the majority of their time in school.

The challenge for teachers is that there are as many different reasons for pupils underachieving as there are pupils in school.

Understanding and Tackling Underachievement: Whole-school Strategies to Meet the Needs of Vulnerable Children in Primary Schools will provide busy practitioners with universal strategies that will impact across the school, reaching all pupils and giving them the opportunity to make the most of their school careers.

With insightful case studies, reflective questions and additional activities on CD-ROM, Understanding and Tackling Underachievement will ensure that your school has all the tools it needs to combat underachievement through understanding the underlying factors and implementing practical approaches and strategies.

Understanding and Tackling Underachievement also addresses the issue of underachievement in relation to the particular needs of pupils coming from socially deprived backgrounds.


Understanding and Tackling Underachievement: Whole-school Strategies to Meet the Needs of Vulnerable Children in Primary Schools will:

  • Challenge your understanding and preconceptions of underachievement in your school
  • Save you time by providing you with the skills and strategies that you will need to address the causes of underachievement in your school
  • Enhance the professional development of the staff within your school
  • Encourage you to see the diversity in your school as a key strength
  • Broaden your knowledge of the factors surrounding underachievement, both in-school and externally.

Summary of contents

This practical and accessible resource will provide you with a stronger understanding of the factors relating to pupils’ underachievement, the benefits of a whole-school approach to tackling underachievement, as well as key strategies and skills for addressing these issues.

This book is divided into three parts which will cover the wider issues related to underachievement, common areas of vulnerability to underachievement and finally an effective whole-school approach to tackling underachievement in your school.

Chapter breakdown

Part 1

Part 1 will help you to consider some of the wider issues around underachievement in schools. It will introduce a range of issues and concepts in a meaningful and accessible way and encourage you to consider the reality of underachievement patterns in your school. Each chapter includes practical activities and reflective questions to immediately engage you with the ideas and implications presented.

Chapter 1: What is Underachievement?
Chapter 2: Broader Understandings of and Approaches to Achievement
Chapter 3: Groups Vulnerable to Underachievement
Chapter 4: Possible Causes of Underachievement
Chapter 5: Identifying Underachievement
Chapter 6: Addressing Underachievement

Part 2

This section of the book looks at some particular issues that affect different learner groups who may be vulnerable to underachievement. These chapters cover the most common areas of underachievement and are designed to support the thinking and practice in use at your own school. Each chapter is divided into a number of sections covering: underachievement data, ways to identify members of a particular learner group, causes of underachievement, the impact of underachievement and general strategies to use to inform understanding.

Chapter 7: Boys and Underachievement: Myth or Reality?
Chapter 8: EAL and Minority Ethnic Learners and Achievement: A Continuing Challenge
Chapter 9: Gifted and Talented Pupils: Can and Do they Underachieve?
Chapter 10: Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Pupils: Understanding and Addressing the Needs of the Most Underachieving Ethnic Minority
Chapter 11: Underachievement and Looked-After Children
Chapter 12: Underachievement and SEN: Exploring the Differences
Chapter 13: Social Disadvantage: Tackling the Difference Between Poverty, Disadvantage and Educational Underachievement

Part 3

Part 3 will focus on enhancing your understanding of the causes of underachievement within your school. It aims to support both you and your school to look more closely at a range of models of working that will help you to resolve problems of underachievement. Key principles underlying school culture and values will be reinforced, including:

  • The importance of a whole-school approach to tackling underachievement
  • Engaging staff in reflection and investigation into school related causes of underachievement
  • The importance of engaging meaningfully with the pupil voice.


A4 wiro bound
Accompanying CD-ROM


Books and training products: Titles in stock will be fulfilled within 15 working days. If you have pre-ordered a forthcoming title, you will receive it as soon as it is available.

eBooks and digital products: After making your order, you will shortly receive another email containing easy instructions on how to download your eBook(s) and digital products. To access, log in to your account and follow the instructions below:

  1. Go to your Dashboard in the top right hand corner
  2. Click 'Customise Dasboard'
  3. Drag the 'My eBooks' module down to your dashboard.
  4. Click 'Done'

You can now view and access all purchased ebooks from this block. If you can not see your order please email customer.services@optimus-education.com.

See more from...