Hannah Bowden

Doctoral Researcher

Hannah BowdenContact Details


Current Status

First Year

Research Topic

An exploration of the enactment of the Pupil Premium Plus policy by Virtual Schools and the effects on educational provision for looked-after children.

Research Summary

Looked-after children and young people are marginalised and excluded, experiencing poorer outcomes than the wider population. In 2014, 12% of looked-after children achieved five A*-C GCSEs (DfE, 2014). In the subsequent academic year, the Coalition Government introduced a new strand of the Pupil Premium, the ‘Pupil Premium Plus’ (PP+). PP+ aims to improve ‘attainment and progress’ (Rees and The National Virtual School Network, 2015:29) of looked-after children by giving £1,900 per capita to every Virtual School across England ‘to help meet the needs identified in….personal education plans’ (Jarrett et al., 2016:11).

This research project will explore the effects of the PP+ on educational provision for this marginalised group, producing a detailed account of the enactment of PP+ policy by Virtual Schools, tracing the flow of money from central government to the child. It will be centered around three key concerns: the concurrent decentralization and centralization of control over the PP+ budget, the variation in enactment of the PP+ policy and its effects, and the impact of the PP+ on the subject position of looked-after children.

Research Interests

  • Looked-after children
  • the British care system
  • education
  • policy
  • neoliberalism
  • subjectivity, power.

Research Supervisors

Professor Kalwant Bhopal

Dr Ian McGimpsey

Source of Funding


Publications and Conference Presentations

‘Reflection, Learning and Identity – Troubled by Butler’, Cornucopia