UK is attempting to bridge the divide between the disadvantaged and the ones with more opportunities by strengthening the education system. A recent study conducted in the arena, concluded that the lesser privileged ones are on an average 18 months overdue the rest of the class in terms of progress by the time they are 16. The Department for Education said £2.4bn per year was dedicated to supporting poorer pupils. The report looks at the progress of deprived pupils – defined as those qualified for free school meals. It’s the first time in several years, the gap between poorer pupils and their peers at GCSE has stopped closing.
There are above-average gaps in Knowsley, Hartlepool and Sheffield and the study warns the gap is increasing in some parts of the north. There are also some big accomplishment gaps in the south – including Portsmouth and Kent. But in London the gaps between underprivileged pupils and the rest are pointedly below the average – with the gap in secondary schools in Blackpool more than six times wider than in Westminster.
Among the ethnic groups, Black Caribbean groups have exhibited relatively lesser progress academically. Chinese followed by Indian and white Irish pupils are ahead in studies, when compared to Pakistani and black Caribbean pupils.
Across England, the gap for poorer pupils in primary school has lessened slightly, but in secondary, based on GCSE results in English and math’s, the gap has broadened. The current developmental trends in education if not reformed may span 500 years before the gaps are dissolved.
Schools and colleges need an instant multibillion-pound emergency investment. The government needs to introduce a range of reforms in order to ensure that those less privileged get education and opportunities to excel equal to their more privileged ones.