Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Poverty and the Education Gap

The learning gap between rich and poor primary age pupils in England has widened. 

Disadvantaged primary pupils more than nine months behind, with the gap widening for the first time since 2007

Disadvantaged secondary pupils are more than 18 months behind their better-off classmates by the time they take their GCSEs - the same as five years ago, the researchers found.
The researchers identify the increasing proportion of children in persistent poverty as a key cause of the reversal which, they say, is becoming more entrenched each year. The researchers found a strong link between persistent poverty and weaker educational performance.
Children on free school meals for more than 80% of their schooldays were almost two years (22.7 months) behind their wealthier classmates.
Those children on free school meals for less than 20% of their time at school had a learning gap of just under a year (11.3 months).
Last year's report said it would take more than 500 years to close the gap - now it looks as if it is no longer closing at all.
Sam Butters and Gina Cicerone, joint chief executives of the Fair Education Alliance which collaborated on the report, called its findings "sobering".
"Without systemic change, this gap will never close," they added.
Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said with children coming to school too hungry to learn, education staff had been working flat out to tackle the effects of poverty, even before the pandemic.
It is widely expected that the pandemic lockdown school closures will widen the gap even further.

1 comment:

aberfoyle said...