Britain’s poorest children are more than a year behind their wealthier peers by the time they sit their GCSEs.
Labour analysis of Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) data (to March 2018) has found that the poorest students in England are nine times more likely to be in secondary schools rated inadequate, compared to their wealthiest peers. They are also half as likely to be in an outstanding school.
The analysis found sharp inequalities between the most and least deprived pupils at national and regional levels.
Nationally, the wealthiest students consistently attend outstanding and good schools – with only 2 per cent in schools that are rated inadequate.
Labour’s analysis also found that the gap between the rich and the poor grows considerably starker at a regional level:
- Seven regions fall below the national average of 19 per cent of the most deprived students attending outstanding schools.
- In the South East, wealthier children are 37 times more likely to go to an outstanding school, compared to their deprived peers.
- In London not a single wealthy child goes to an inadequate school. In total, 7,893 children in London attend schools rated as inadequate.
- In the East of England, just 3 per cent of the most deprived attend an outstanding school, compared to 42 per cent of the least deprived.
Last year, a report by the Fair Education Alliance found Britain’s poorest children are more than a year behind their wealthier peers by the time they sit their GCSEs
Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education, said:
“No child should be held back from reaching their potential because of their background.
“While the Tories have gifted tax cuts to big businesses, per pupil funding has been cut in real terms. It is the most vulnerable children paying the price for the resulting crisis in our education system.
“The next Labour government will invest in a National Education Service, giving our schools the funding they need to raise standards and improve outcomes, so every child gets the education they deserve, regardless of their background.”
Meanwhile, the conservative government continues with schools budget cuts and the increasingly discredited academisation program. This despite the fact that more than half the multi-academy chains have issued warnings about funding, buildings maintenance and staffing levels and some of the smaller trusts having required government bail-outs.