“The Sutton Trust report should provide sobering reading for a government which has obsessed with inspections, performance tables and metrics of all descriptions, rather than on the investment that is needed to support every young person, regardless of background.
“The challenges facing disadvantaged young people start early in life and continue throughout schooling and beyond. As a result, the attainment gap with other children widens throughout their education. To close this gap, there must be greater investment and support for schools and colleges in general, and particularly those in disadvantaged areas facing the greatest challenges.
“The government could not even manage to resist strangling its own National Tutoring Programme with red tape – including expecting schools to top up funding with money they don’t have. As a result, the coverage is patchy, at best, and there is little chance of it being embedded in any long-term strategy for education.”