Report Card 2019
On the 30th July the Education Policy Institute in partnership with the Fair Education Alliance launch a joint report that looks at the attainment by pupils in state-funded schools from Early Years, through to key stage 2 and key stage 4, as well as trends in post 16 destinations.
The report measures the disadvantage gap by comparing attainment between pupils eligible for Pupil Premium funding and the rest as well as differences in performance between pupils from different ethnic backgrounds, pupils with special educational needs and disability and regional difference
Progress is beginning to stall in tackling inequalities in our education system. If current 5 years trends continue, it would take over 500 years for the overall disadvantage gap to close by the end of secondary school
Key Messages from the Report
For the first time since 2011, progress in closing the GCSE attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has come to a standstill. Between 2017 and 2018, the gap widened slightly, by 0.2 months, to 18.1 months.
This means poorer pupils in England are, on average, a year and a half behind their peers by the time they finish their GCSEs.
There are large geographic variations – with a gap of over 2 years in some parts of the country and just 6 months in other areas.
The gap in the early years has also stalled, widening slightly by 0.1 months to 4.5 months.
Despite these trends at secondary level, the picture at primary level is more positive, with the disadvantage gap continuing to narrow.
Disadvantage gaps are larger, and are growing, in parts of the North.
Black Caribbean pupils have experienced particularly poor progress, falling further behind White British pupils. Pupils with special educational needs remain the furthest behind.
The most persistently disadvantaged pupils are almost 2 years (22.6 months) behind at the end of GCSEs – and that gap has increased since 2011.
Post-16 education is becoming even more segregated, driven by an over-representation of disadvantaged students in further education.
Over recent years there has been a dramatic slowing down in the closure of the disadvantage gap. Given this and the rise in the gap in 2018, there is a real risk that we could be at a turning point, and that the progress made over recent years could be undone.