We all know that schools are under financial pressure; every penny must be spent wisely. This makes buying into a school intervention seem a daunting prospect. When you buy the lemon, you expect the juice. We explore if school interventions are worth the squeeze.
Interventions are not a one-size fits all approach; you need to find the right fit for your school. This article will help you to make a confident decision on where to spend your school intervention budget.
How much should a good school intervention cost?
Interventions vary in price; it is easy to feel overwhelmed with all the choices available. Especially with social media sites each recommending something different! Is the juice worth the squeeze? You need to compare what you are paying with the potential benefits.
Intent. How do you choose the why for your school interventions? You want a clearly structured and sequenced intervention programme linked to the National Curriculum. It must build on age-related knowledge and skills with clear endpoints. If it does, then your outcomes can be sizeable.
Staffing. Staffing costs should be a consideration when deciding on a school intervention. Time is precious, with everyone working to a full timetable. For example, an intervention programme that requires 60 minutes of 1:1 tuition may not be the right fit for you.
Training. You might be welcoming new staff or preparing for a staff re-structure. Ensuring all staff are confident delivering interventions out of year group is essential for a smooth Autumn term. Choose an intervention which is in price range but also meets staffing needs. Staff training can pay off in the long run, but you might prefer a programme that requires no additional training. Shine comes with pre-planned sessions, detailed teacher guidance and supporting videos - no hidden costs.
Preparation. Think about an intervention which offers resources with the pitch that is just right. An intervention package which reduces workload is worth every penny and can help your team make the most of small pockets of time in the timetable.
Impact. The impact is the bigger picture of interventions. Consider looking at the assessment linked to the programme, this will help you to benchmark your success. Look out for case studies and testimonials from other schools to prove that the one you are considering works.
"We found that pupils in Years 3 to 5 were really engaged with the Shine Reading Skills interventions. There was lots of discussion about language and struggling readers gained more confidence: they started off nervous but then were coming to group excited. We also liked that the non-fiction texts were linked. I’d say that they all gained in confidence – I could see all of the reading groups making progress." - St Mary and St Margaret’s CE Primary School
Why are whole-school interventions impactful?
Long-term impact and progress are the name of the game here. Whole-school interventions allow the scope to track broader success: across subjects, year groups and even reading domains.
You may find some of the following benefits from a whole-school approach:
Increase in staff confidence due to high-quality structure in each year group.
Peace of mind for assessment leads knowing the quality of resources will be consistent across year 3 all the way to year 6.
Ready-made assessment tasks allow progress to be tracked - a big tick for assessment leads!
Standardised scores allow for an accurate comparison with other schools and pupils nationally.
Core subjects all tailored for, linking to the wider curriculum.
Confident and engaged learners who make secure progress.
Warning: signs of ineffective primary school interventions
To ensure your inventions are a good investment, avoid programmes that:
⚠️ Are limited to one key stage or are topic based.
⚠️ Have limited logical sequence when building on pupil learning.
⚠️ Offer free sections to lure you in but then limit access to important assessment features or resources.
⚠️ Require additional training that might be timely and costly (unless that’s the long-term plan!)
⚠️ Do not have the assessment as the primary step in the process.
Contact your local consultant today to book a demo and arrange your free trial!
Guest writer Louise Jackson has over 8 years of teaching and leadership experience in mainstream and SEND specialist schools. Find her on LinkedIn.