To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the findings of the annual report by the Education Policy Institute, published in July 2019, what steps he will take to tackle the education disadvantage gap.
5 September 2019
The Department welcomes the focus this report brings and will consider its recommendations carefully, given the Department’s commitment to closing the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers.
Since 2011, the attainment gap has narrowed by more than 9% at age 16 and more than 13% at age 11. The Department’s reforms and the extra support funded by the pupil premium have contributed to this improvement.
The Department established the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) with £137 million to research in hundreds of English schools the most effective ways of using pupil premium, and promote these so that all schools can make a difference to their disadvantaged pupils’ futures. In June 2019, the EEF published a ‘Pupil Premium Guide’ that gives schools clear advice about how best to use the pupil premium grant. The Department encourages all schools to use this guide, which can be accessed here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/evidence-summaries/pupil-premium-guide/.
The Department seeks to ensure no pupils are left behind – hence the targeted support in some of the most socially immobile areas of the country through the £72 million opportunity areas programme and the Department’s commitment to halve the proportion of children who finish reception year without the communication and reading skills they need to thrive.