Document Abstract

Closing the regional attainment gap

Examines the attainment gap in school exam results in England between pupils from different social backgrounds. Explores the origins of differences in school outcomes between areas and efforts that have been made to close the gap. Explains that the attainment gap acts as a block on social mobility and has consequences for the life/employment chances of those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Summarises evidence from Parliamentary sessions and oral and written evidence. Explains that the attainment gap measures the attainment of disadvantaged children against the attainment of non-disadvantaged children (using Free School Meal eligibility). Finds that: the attainment gap between pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds and their better-off classmates is substantial across a range of measures, and widens through the school years; attainment varies across the country, with London a particularly strong performer when it comes to both overall attainment, and the gap between those who are disadvantaged and those not; disadvantaged pupils nationally lag behind the average by around half a grade per subject; and disadvantaged pupils in the North East had the lowest scores. Discusses the impact of early years education and school funding, the challenge of recruitment and retention of teachers in disadvantaged schools, and the benefits of local collaboration and sharing best practice. Highlights the success of the London Challenge, the Somerset Challenge, Norwich Opportunity Area and the Manchester Schools Alliance. Recommends more support for schools in social mobility coldspot areas.


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All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility
Ref No:
All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility

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