A new report by Education Policy Institute published today (10th February) has revealed a “decade of failure” to improve outcomes of GCSE pupils in poverty, while the disadvantage gap has widened for college and sixth form students. Researchers warn that the wide educational inequalities uncovered in the study are likely to “severely constrain” the government’s new Levelling Up plans.
Dame Alison Peacock, CEO of the Chartered College of Teaching, said:
Throughout the pandemic, access to learning has been unequal. Some students could benefit from distance learning, while others were negatively affected by school closures or illness. This has only further amplified existing inequalities.
The yawning disadvantage gap means we cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach to education recovery. There needs to be a personalised approach with teachers considering the circumstances of their students. From our research into member experiences, teachers need time to determine where students are in their learning with high-quality teaching that considers their starting point. We need to put a strong emphasis on prioritising the most vulnerable pupils. Teachers are eager to know how to support disadvantaged students most effectively, and it is in the nation’s interest that the government provides sufficient resources to enable this to happen.
The Chartered College of Teaching’s series of reports – ‘Education in times of crisis’ – have looked at the impact of the pandemic on teaching and learning and captures teacher insights into plans for recovery and the future of teaching.