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Report concludes failure is baked into the UK education system

05/09/22, 11:00

Despite decades of policy attention, there has been virtually no change in the ‘disadvantage gap’ in attainment over the past 20 years. Report claims that England stands out internationally for nearly non-existent improvements in skills when making comparisons across generations.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) report that the attainment gap between students from disadvantaged backgrounds and their better-off classmates has not closed over the past 20 years. According to their findings England  is now ranked 25th out of 32 OECD countries in terms of the literacy skills of its young people.

Disparities between GCSE results in the  north and south have widened. For grade 7 passes at GCSE (equivalent to an A mark), the difference between the north-east and London has increased from 9.3 percentage points in 2019 to 10.2. At A Level London saw a 12.1 percentage point rise in the number of students achieving top grades, while the north-east had a 7.8 percentage point increase. 

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