Disadvantage attainment gap bigger than previously thought

Demonstrating again the importance of supporting disadvantaged pupils, the Sutton Trust has released an analysis of the impact of the new reformed GCSEs on the attainment gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils. While only small changes were calculated, the report found that, after accounting for a variety of factors, “test scores for disadvantaged pupils fell slightly compared to non-disadvantaged pupils, by just over a quarter of a grade across 9 subjects”.

Adding to this, new research from FFT Education DataLab has found that, by factoring in the effect of pupils leaving before the end of year 11, the gap in attainment between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils was even greater than suggested by a simple comparison of GCSE results. The report also drew attention to the significant number of pupils who are leaving state education at some point between year 7 and year 11; highlighting the danger of pupils falling through the cracks.