Tackling educational inequality Print E-mail

Paul Marshalltackling educational inequality.jpg
July 2007

The English school system remains a bastion of educational inequality which steadily reinforces the advantages of birth. Despite improvements to average levels of pupil attainment since 1997, there remains a large and intractable tail of pupils who consistently fail to meet minimum standards of literacy and numeracy. This tail is made up, not of the least able children, but of the most disadvantaged

'Tackling educational inequality' makes the case for overhauling the system of deprivation funding by introducing a new 'pupil premium'. Operating like a weighted voucher system, the pupil premium would ensure not only that funding 'follows the pupil', but that more funding follows the most disadvantaged pupils. This would ensure that more resources become available to the most challenging schools, enabling them to introduce a number of reforms of particular benefit to underachieving children.

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"We strongly welcome the approach taken by CentreForum, which recognises the need to tackle the inequality of school pupils at source. The proposal for extra schools funding to be delivered to the most disadvantaged through a 'pupil premium' is an important step in the right direction". Kate Green, Chief Executive, Child Poverty Action Group

"The Prime Minister and his education ministers would do well to study this week's report from the liberal CentreForum think-tank...Some of the measures recommended by CentreForum would make the kind of radical package Mr Brown needs to strengthen his credibility as the prime minister who sought to end child poverty" The Independent, 19th July 2007

Media coverage: 

BBC: More funds urged for poor pupils

FT: Schools study backs 'pupil premium'

Independent: Schools 'should get reward for taking poor pupils'; Reforms have increased the gap between rich and poor

Mirror: Give poor kids £8k

Times: 'Poor children should get extra lessons on Saturday'

Telegraph: Saturday school 'for poor children'

The Sun: Kids' sum is riddle to adults