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Inequality across the education system is rising

Government figures show that inequality between children in care and their peers is rising in reading, writing, and maths;
The inequality gap for those finishing compulsory education has grown by a quarter since 2013;
The number of care leavers who are not in employment, education, or training, has risen by a quarter since 2010

Government figures show that inequality across the education system is rising, with the most vulnerable children the worst affected, as the Secretary of State for Education prepares to make his first speech on social mobility.

The attainment gap between children in care and their peers has been rising in Key Stage One since 2010. In maths the attainment gap has risen from 23 percent to 29, an increase of over a quarter. In reading the gap has grown from 23 percent to 25, and in writing from 27 to 29.

The proportion of care leavers who are not in education, employment, or training (“NEET”) has also risen substantially since 2010. In 2010 32 percent of care leavers were NEETs, but by 2017 this has increased to 40 percent, a rise of a quarter since 2010.

Wider inequality has also increased, with the Department for Education’s own statistics showing that the inequality gap in achieving a level 2 qualification by 19 has risen since 2013. In 2013 the gap stood at 16.3 percent, but by 2017 it had risen to 20.1 percent, another increase of around a quarter.

The figures showing the stark and rising inequality between the most vulnerable children and their peers are revealed as Damian Hinds, the Education Secretary, prepares to make his first speech on social mobility.

Commenting, Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education, said: “These damning figures show that under this government inequality in our schools is rising; despite all their rhetoric on social mobility the Tories are simply entrenching inequality.

“The measure of our education system should be the support that it offers to the most vulnerable children, and the steps we take to level the playing field between them and their more affluent peers. Quite simply, the Conservatives are failing this test.

“The next Labour government will invest in a National Education Service, giving every child the support they need and the opportunity to succeed, in a country for the many, not the few.”