Key Stage 4 performance statistics
show that the disadvantage gap – the relative attainment between disadvantaged pupils and all other pupils - has widened to 3.79 in 2021 compared with 3.66 in 2019/20 and 3.7 in 2018/19.
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “The widening of the gap in attainment between disadvantaged children and their peers at the end of secondary school reinforces the need for more government investment in education recovery.
“It is clear that disadvantaged young people have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic and the associated disruption to education which has resulted not only in periods of lockdown but large numbers of students having to periodically self-isolate even when schools are fully open.
“While we welcome the funding that the government has committed to education recovery, we are far from convinced that this is sufficient to address the educational damage caused by the pandemic, particularly to young people in persistent poverty. The fact that the disadvantage gap has widened should serve as a call for further action.