Pupil premium struggling to close GCSE attainment gap

Gap between affluent and poorer pupils widened slightly last year, but is narrower than before introduction of extra funds

Citation: The coalition's flagship policy to target extra financial resources at schoolchildren from poorer backgrounds is struggling to close the gap in educational achievements between less advantaged pupils and those from more affluent families, research shows.
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Ian Wybron, an education specialist at Demos, said the gap in educational achievement in London had improved across the board over the past decade after the introduction of the London Challenge. He said: "Attainment in London is better for both free school meal kids and non free school meal kids. The gap between them is also smaller."
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Wybron said: "The attainment gap has been a difficult nut to crack in recent years. The pupil premium is supposed to finally close it. But it seems we're now seeing a national increase, and London's disproportionate success is masking wider gaps across the country. Many local authorities are seeing either no change or, worse, an increase in the gap between the rich and poor.

"The pupil premium is a good policy in theory. Targeting funds towards disadvantaged pupils makes sense and, given that the national attainment gap at primary school level is already around 20%, the government's decision to increase the amount going to primary schools is welcome.

"It will take time to see how successful the pupil premium will be. But we can't just throw money at the problem and expect these differences in attainment to disappear. Schools and local authorities need proper guidance, backed by robust research, on what works in closing the gap, including how to tackle the underlying causes both in and outside of school."

#Education   #CentralGovernment   #UK   #Demographics  

Posted by +Dan Durrant 

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