Poorest UK pupils ‘behind in GCSEs’03/08/17Education
The poorest children in the UK have fallen even further behind their non-disadvantaged classmates since 2007, research says.
The Education Policy Institute (EPI) study proposes that the most disadvantaged pupils are more than two years behind their classmates when they sit their GCSEs.
In a recent speech, Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Education, highlighted areas of the country with an “entrenched disadvantage” where low skills and poor employment were found to correspond with underachieving.
Closing the Gap? – the EPI report – acknowledged the gap of disadvantage which has been entrenched into the education system for generations, and that successive governments had attempted to address it.
It analysed official data on GCSEs, other test results and pupil backgrounds from the national pupil database.
Researchers found that the attainment gap between persistently poor pupils and their non-disadvantaged peers had widened by 0.2 months to 24.3 months over the past decade.
Despite this, the achievement gap between disadvantaged children and their classmates was found to be narrowing, only at a decreased rate.
The report added: “Despite significant investment and targeted intervention programmes, the gap between disadvantaged 16-year-old pupils and their peers has only narrowed by three months of learning between 2007 and 2016.
“At current trends, we estimate that it would take around 50 years for the disadvantage gap to close completely by the time pupils take their GCSEs.”