Responding to Teach First research on the GCSE results of disadvantaged students
Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:
“The Tories have embedded inequality in our schools, with the most disadvantaged students losing out.
“The Conservatives have slashed funding for schools and created a crisis in teacher recruitment and retention, and a generation of children are paying the price for this government’s failure.
“Labour will end Tory cuts to our schools, giving them the resources they need to help every child to succeed, whatever their background.”
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
“The gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has narrowed considerably since 2011, and 85% of children are now in good or outstanding schools compared to just 66% in 2010.
“And our £2.4 billion Pupil Premium is helping the most disadvantaged children. But we must do more.
“The Prime Minister has committed to increasing school funding so we can level up all parts of the UK and close the opportunity gap. We will continue to drive up school standards right across the country, and do more to continue to attract and retain talented individuals in our classrooms as well as giving teachers the powers they need to deal with bad behaviour and bullying.
"We announced a pay rise of 2.75% for teachers so that their salaries recognise the impact their work can have on a pupil’s life, as well as launching the first-ever Teacher Recruitment & Retention Strategy this year, the biggest reforms the sector has seen in a generation.
"The gap between disadvantaged pupils and others at key stage 2, measured using the disadvantage gap index, has decreased in each of the last seven years, narrowing by 3% in the latest year and 13.2% since 2011.
"The gap between disadvantaged pupils and others at key stage 4, measured using the disadvantage gap index has narrowed by 9.5% since 2011. In the latest year, it remained broadly stable, widening by 0.6% between 2017 and 2018.
"There is more money going into our schools than ever before and the Government has acted to tackle disadvantage by providing schools with an extra £2.4 billion this year alone through the Pupil Premium to improve disadvantaged pupils’ performance.
"New guidance available through the Education Endowment Foundation will help schools make good choices to improve their disadvantaged pupils’ outcomes."