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Education: Standards

Question for Department for Education

UIN 22179, tabled on 25 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of changes in the level of the educational attainment gap.

Answered on

5 July 2021

The Government recognises the challenges that the COVID-19 outbreak has caused for young people’s education, particularly for disadvantaged pupils. Schools continue to receive additional funding through the pupil premium, worth over £2.5 billion in 2021/22, to help them support their disadvantaged pupils.

To assess the education attainment gap, the Department has developed a Disadvantage Gap Index. The index shows that, between 2011 and 2019, the attainment gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils narrowed by 13% at age 11 and 9% at age 16.

The Department also commissioned Renaissance Learning to provide a baseline assessment of education loss and catch-up needs for pupils in schools in England and to monitor progress over the course of the year. We estimate that in the second half of the autumn term the gap in education loss between disadvantaged pupils and their more affluent peers remains at around half a month.