Stroud children from poorer backgrounds are nearly two years behind the education level of their peers

Stroud children from poorer backgrounds are nearly two years behind the education level of their peers

Press release

August 12, 2019

Stroud children from poorer backgrounds are almost two years behind their peers by the time they sit their GCSEs, a new report has shown.

The data shows that, by the end of secondary school, disadvantaged pupils in Stroud constituency are 20 months behind their non-disadvantaged peers.

The ‘disadvantage gap’ is wider in Stroud constituency than the average for England, which has an 18 month gap.

The Education Policy Institute has looked at attainment levels of children from disadvantaged backgrounds and measured the ‘disadvantage gap across England.

David Drew MP said;

“This report makes sad reading. Being poorer should not mean that you fall behind at school. Yet sadly the evidence shows that is the case with a wide, and growing, gap between children from disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged backgrounds. The reasons are complex, but it is clear that disadvantaged children are affected most by under-funded support services and schools.”

The EPI’s Annual Report found that disadvantaged pupils in Stroud are:

• 20 months of learning behind their non-disadvantaged peers by the end of secondary school;

• 8.7 months of learning behind at primary; and

• 3.9 months of learning behind in the early years.

In Gloucester, the gap is wider:

• 22.7 months of learning behind their non-disadvantaged peers by the end of secondary school;

• 11.8 months of learning behind at primary; and

• 5.2 months of learning behind in the early years.

The EPI found that, for the first time since 2011, progress in closing the GCSE attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has come to a standstill.

There are large geographical variations – with a gap of over two years in some parts of the country such as Rotherham and Blackpool.

London has the smallest disadvantage gaps. Poorer pupils in Westminster are only 3.9 months behind their peers at GCSE, and 5.3 months behind in Tower Hamlets.

The picture at primary level is more positive, with the disadvantage gap continuing to narrow. However post-16 education is becoming even more segregated, driven by an over-representation of disadvantaged students in further education.


Further information

  • On Tuesday 30th July, the Education Policy Institute (EPI), in partnership with the Fair Education Alliance (FEA), published its flagship Annual Report on the state of education in England.

  • The new report examines the progress made in closing the gap in educational attainment between disadvantaged pupils and their peers, known as ‘the disadvantage gap’.

  • Full geographical data is here, see www.epi.org.uk for more details

  • The measure is a leading indicator of how the government is performing on social mobility.

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National Citizen Service volunteers serving Stroud and Gloucestershire

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