Holding Sunak to account for England’s failure to close the attainment gap


Both candidates for PM have been banging on about the SNP’s track record. Education is a favourite for them but today the Guardian reports:

The attainment gap between poorer pupils and their better-off class mates is just as large now as it was 20 years ago, according to a damning new report which says the coronavirus pandemic is likely to have increased the inequalities in education

The landmark study, based on research carried out for the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and funded by the Nuffield Foundation, found that disadvantaged pupils start school behind their better-off peers, and those inequalities persist through their school years and beyond – eventually having an impact on earnings.

While GCSE attainment has been increasing over time, 16-year-olds who are eligible for free school meals are still around 27 percentage points less likely to earn good GCSEs than less disadvantaged peers.”


In Scotland, under the SNP:

The gap between pupils achieving 1 pass or more at SCQF Level 5 has reduced from 33.3 percentage points in 2009-10 to 20.8 percentage points in 2019-20


SCQF Level 5, taken in Year 4, is equivalent to GCSE at the same stage.

So, in Scotland, the attainment gap has been closed by more than 12 points, to 6 points lower than in England, where it has stalled.


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