Children from poorer areas ‘make two years’ less progress’ at school

Children from the poorest backgrounds who live in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the country leave secondary school having made almost two years’ less progress than their wealthier peers living elsewhere, according to a new report. The findings are based on a comparison of student progress in six regions of the country – recently highlighted by the government as areas of particularly low social mobility – with pupil progress elsewhere in England. And while the problem is long-standing, the report concludes that among disadvantaged children, the progress gap in these areas has “grown dramatically” in the last five years. The report, entitled Ambitious for Every Child and published on Tuesday, follows an announcement in October by the education secretary, Justine Greening, of a £60m investment in six so-called “opportunity areas” – Norwich, Blackpool, Derby, Oldham, Scarborough and west Somerset – to try to boost social mobility rates which remain stubbornly low. Read More