Schoolzone | The education disadvantage gap in England

The education disadvantage gap in England

Date: 30.07.2019

The research, which is based on the latest Department for Education data, also considers how the gap has changed since 2011 and how it varies across the country. It also looks at how pupils from different backgrounds perform, as well as the routes taken by students after taking their GCSEs.

You can download the report here.


The education disadvantage gap in England: the latest trends

  • The gap in GCSE attainment between disadvantaged pupils and non-disadvantaged pupils has stopped closing.
  • By the time they leave secondary school, disadvantaged pupils are now over 18.1 months behind non-disadvantaged pupils. This gap has increased slightly from last year, by 0.2 months.
  • In the early years (pupils in reception year), the gap has also stopped closing – having widened slightly by 0.1 months to 4.5 months.
  • In contrast, at primary school, the gap continues to close. By the time they leave primary school, disadvantaged pupils are now 9.2 months behind their peers – a narrowing of 0.3 months since 2017.
  • For the most persistently disadvantaged pupils the gap has narrowed at primary level but widened at secondary level. This means that these pupils – the very worst-off – are almost two years (22.6 months) behind all other pupils by the time they finish their GCSEs.
  • Despite no progress in narrowing the disadvantage gap, overall pupil attainment has continued to rise. This suggests that an overall rise in standards does not guarantee a reduction in the disadvantage gap.   


Full report here

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