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Wed, 06 Jul 22 11:59

ADCS response to the EPI’s annual education report

Responding to the Education Policy Institute’s annual education report 2020 Gail Tolley, Chair of the ADCS Educational Achievement Policy Committee said:

“The greatest gift we can give to our children is a good education, however, this report shows the education attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their more affluent peers has stopped closing, for the first time in a decade. Before the pandemic we faced challenges in closing the gap, months of school closures will have exacerbated the issues facing many disadvantaged and vulnerable pupils, and the gaps cited in this report may already have widened this year. Sustained support to help all pupils, particularly the most disadvantaged, catch up on months of lost learning and socialisation will be important when they return to school, as will long term sustainable funding for schools and for local authorities to enable us meet the immediate and long term needs of children and young people.

“Addressing educational inequalities not only enhances children’s life chances, but benefits wider society and the economy too, however, too many pupils face barriers to learning. The report finds that progress in closing the gap for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities and for looked after children has been too slow. There are gaps in attainment between certain ethnic backgrounds with pupils from Gypsy/Roma backgrounds significantly behind their White British peers by the end of secondary school and some ethnic groups such as Black Caribbean pupils have experienced growing inequalities in recent years - we are pleased researchers plan to undertake more work to understand the reasons behind these discrepancies. These findings are clearly at odds with the government’s efforts to ‘level up’ society. We know there is a strong relationship between poverty in terms of parental income, housing quality and school performance, so concerted action on all forms of inequality, including poverty, is urgently needed to ensure no child is left behind.”


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