25 organisations launch landmark bid to end education inequality

We are proud to launch the Fair Education Alliance – a coalition committed to closing the achievement gap between young people from our poorest communities and their wealthier peers.

The Fair Education Alliance is a new coalition for change in education comprising 25 of the UK’s leading organisations. Its aim is to work towards ending the persistent achievement gap between young people from our poorest communities and their wealthier peers. Committed to this common goal, the Alliance will both work collectively to find long term solutions to address educational inequality, as well as annually monitor the progress made to narrow the gap. Sharing a platform for the first time today at The Sunday Times Festival of Education, the alliance will unveil the five Fair Education Impact Goals. Created after consultation with over 1,700 teachers and leading experts, charities, businesses and teachers, the goals follow the educational journey of a child:

Narrow the gap in literacy and numeracy at primary school
Narrow the gap in GCSE attainment at secondary school
Ensure young people develop key strengths, including resilience and wellbeing, to support high aspirations
Narrow the gap in the proportion of young people taking part in further education or employment-based training after finishing their GCSEs
Narrow the gap in university graduation, including from the 25% most selective universities, by 8%

This is the first time such a diverse range of organisations have come together to work towards tackling this problem

The Alliance has received strong support from all major political parties

Commenting on the launch of the Alliance, Education Secretary Michael Gove said:

“This new campaign underlines the importance of our mission to improve state education. 

“Every child should have the opportunity to succeed, regardless of their background. That is why we are investing in the poorest through the pupil premium, setting higher standards for all children through our new curriculum and qualifications, and helping hundreds of struggling schools. 

“I welcome this new alliance of influential educational, charitable and business organisations to help us defeat the entrenched inequality of opportunity which has been a feature of our education system for far too long.” 

Schools Minister David Laws said:  

“The Coalition Government is committed to raising attainment for all children and to closing the gap that holds disadvantaged children back. And we are making progress. Poor children are doing better than ever at school, with the proportion of children on free school meals getting 5 good GCSEs including English and maths increasing from 31% in 2010 to 38% in 2013. And we are raising our investment. Next year, the Pupil Premium will be worth £2.5bn meaning that poor children will now receive an additional £14,000 throughout their school career.  

“But we know that there is more to do and that central government can’t do it alone. So, I am delighted that through the Fair Education Alliance such a range of organisations have come together to contribute their efforts to tackle this urgent and important problem.” 

Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt said:  

“The Fair Education Alliance has set out a series of bold and ambitious goals for the next ten years. The aim: to end the link between social disadvantage and educational inequality that blights our society. I have no doubt today’s launch, bringing together so many powerful organisations, marks an important milestone in tackling the scar of the country’s education divide.

“I welcome that the new Fair Education Alliance will seek to find the long-term solutions that will help us close the attainment gap and ensure that every child realises his or her potential. I look forward to working with them to achieve this mission”.