Laura Sharman 26 August 2020

Progress on closing the learning gap has stalled, report warns

Progress on closing the learning gap has stalled, report warns image

The attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers in primary schools has increased for the first time since 2017, new figures have shown.

A new report from the Education Policy Institute (EPI) warns that the learning gap between the poorest and richest pupils has stopped closing overall for the first time in a decade.

The report argues the stalling of the gap occurred even before the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted the education system.

The report states: 'The gap has now begun to widen across all three phases of education that we consider in this report – the early years, primary school and secondary school. In 2018, the gap widened for the first time in our data at early years and secondary school. In 2019, the gap also widened for the first time at primary school.

'We find that the slowing and/or reversal of progress is related to a rise in persistent poverty among disadvantaged pupils. The gap for the most persistently disadvantaged pupils, already twice the size of the gap for the least persistently poor pupils, has increased in every year but one since 2014. This suggests that progress in closing the gap has not trickled down to the most persistently poor pupils.'

Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said: ‘Good quality early education can make an enormous difference to children’s lives, with around 40% of the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers emerging by age five.

’Councils have long raised the issue that funding for early entitlements is not enough, impacting on the quality of provision and the availability of good support for children with special educational needs and disabilities.’

Sampling COVID’s impact on Surrey image

Sampling COVID’s impact on Surrey

Michael Coughlin describes how Surrey CC is developing a ‘rich and granular’ understanding of how its residents, communities and the local economy are being impacted by the pandemic.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker - Children in Care

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum + + Free on site parking & Benefits Package
Social Worker - Children in CarePermanent Full Time£30,906 to £42,254 per annum plus free on site parkingLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Experienced Social Worker

Northumberland County Council
£32,029 - £35,934
At Northumberland County Council we are proud of our employees, who are... Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Social Worker

Northumberland County Council
£32,910
We are seeking suitably qualified experienced social workers with at least 2 years frontline Social Work experience who... Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Surveyor

Northumberland County Council
£28,672 - £32,234 per annum
We are looking for an enthusiastic and commercially aware surveyor to join us to undertake a range of interesting and challenging work. Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Senior Programme Officer (Transport)

Northumberland County Council
£32,910 - £36,922
As a Senior Programme Officer for strategic transport, you will play a pivotal role in shaping the strategic direction of transport policy for... Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue