3 August 2017
Commenting on the Education Policy Institute report, Closing the Gap? Trends in Educational Attainment and Disadvantage, Avis Gilmore, Assistant General Secretary, of the National Union of Teachers, said;
“This report gives a sombre warning to Government that unless investment and the correct interventions are in place the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers will continue. Local authorities and schools are being starved of cash resulting in the closure of or cut-backs to many essential support services for those pupils most in need.
“The London and City Challenge programme changed the educational outcomes for pupils in the capital. Despite its clear success it was scrapped by the Coalition Government in 2011. Instead, the Government has focused its attention on academies and free schools as a means of raising children’s attainment. Clearly this has not been and never would be the panacea for equity in education.
“Schools work hard to enhance the life chances of all children but they cannot compensate for poverty and inequality alone. Government is responsible for ensuring families have jobs, homes and enough to eat – these are the prerequisites for children’s learning. Government must also ensure schools are properly funded and resourced and have sufficient numbers of qualified teachers.
“As a society we cannot wait 50 years before all children and young people perform to the best of their abilities. We know that trusting schools to collaborate not compete against each other and sharing of best practice across all schools works. There also needs to be an end to the shameful funding crisis in both schools and local authorities that is seriously hindering the progress of our children and young people.”
'Closing the Gap? Trends in Educational Attainment and Disadvantage'.
The new analysis scrutinises the latest progress made in closing the gap in attainment between disadvantaged pupils and their peers. It also considers how the gap varies across the country, and how it is associated with other pupil characteristics.
A digital copy, which is strictly embargoed until 00.01 Thursday 3rd August 2017 can be found here.