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Left behind white pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds

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The Education Committee is to investigate the issues faced by disadvantaged groups, with an initial inquiry into the educational underachievement of white pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds including white working class pupils.

This inquiry will examine the extent of the achievement gap between this group and their peers and how it is measured, alongside a consideration of the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. It will also look at what the priorities should be for tackling this issue.

Education Committee to hold session on the impact of place on white working-class pupils, and the importance of early years provision – Tuesday 3rd November at 10am 

Next Tuesday, the Education Committee will speak to experts about the impact of regional differences and whether where children live affects the attainment and life chances of white working-class children. Members will also consider the importance of high-quality early years provision for this group, and how best to support families and children in their formative years. 

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This is the second session in the Committee’s inquiry into disadvantaged white pupils.   In the Committee’s evidence session on 13 October , witnesses highlighted regional differences and the impact of location on children and young people’s educational outcomes.  The Centre for Education and Youth’s place-based research has found ‘stark differences in aspirations… school effectiveness… and pupil attainment… between ethnically mixed, inner city area types, and ethnically homogenous (predominantly White) neighbourhoods.

The previous session also highlighted the importance of high-quality early years provision, given the gap between white working-class pupils and their peers emerges early and widens throughout students’ school careers. The committee is likely to ask the panel questions regarding the challenges of ensuring early year and childcare professions can meet the needs of disadvantaged children.

Witness schedule

Tuesday 3rd November at 10am

Panel 1

  • Henri Murison, Director – Northern Powerhouse Partnership
  • Sammy Wright, Social Mobility Commissioner – The Social Mobility Commission
  • Dr Alex Gibson, Senior Research Fellow – University of Plymouth

Panel 2

  • Jonathan Douglas, Chief Executive – The National Literacy Trust
  • Ed Vainker, Chief Executive – The Reach Foundation
  • Liz Bayram, Chief Executive Officer – Professional Association of Childcare and Early Years (PACEY)

Committee Membership: Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP (Con, Harlow), Fleur Anderson MP (Lab, Putney), Kim Johnson MP (Lab, Liverpool Riverside), Apsana Begum MP (Lab, Poplar and Limehouse), Jonathan Gullis MP (Con, Stoke on Trent North), Tom Hunt MP (Con, Ipswich), Dr Caroline Johnson MP (Con, Sleaford and North Hykeham), David Johnston MP (Con, Wantage), Ian Mearns MP (Lab, Gateshead), David Simmonds MP (Con, Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner) Christian Wakeford MP (Con, Bury South)  

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