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Thu, 29 October 2020

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Labour fury as new analysis shows kids in poorest areas nine times more likely to be in struggling schools

Labour fury as new analysis shows kids in poorest areas nine times more likely to be in struggling schools

Emilio Casalicchio

2 min read

Labour has blasted the Government after it emerged students in the poorest areas of England were nine times more likely to be in struggling schools than those in the richest areas.


The party found 9% of students in the most deprived areas were at schools rated inadequate as of March this year, according to official data from schools watchdog Ofsted.

But just 1% of students in the least deprived areas were at schools in the bottom ranking - with kids in the poorest areas half as likely to be in an outstanding school.

Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner fumed: “It is the most vulnerable children paying the price for the crisis in our education system.”

The Government said the total number of kids in good or outstanding schools had risen from 66% to 86% since 2010 - and said many struggling schools had been taken over by sponsored academies.

Labour found no children in the most deprived areas in the South West were at outstanding schools in March, while in London no kids from the wealthiest areas were in inadequate schools.

In the South East, 41% of kids in the wealthiest areas were at outstanding schools, compared with 6% of their counterparts in the poorest areas.

Overall, seven of the regions in England were below the national average (19%) for the students in the most deprived areas going to outstanding schools.

Ms Rayner said: “No child should be held back from reaching their potential because of their background.

“While the Tories have gifted tax cuts to big businesses, per pupil funding has been cut in real terms.

“It is the most vulnerable children paying the price for the resulting crisis in our education system.”

She said Labour would give schools "the funding they ned to raise standards and improve outcomes" regardless of background.

But School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: "Across the country there are now more good or outstanding schools and more pupils benefiting from the excellent education they provide than in 2010, rising from 66% to 86% in that time.

"This includes more than half a million pupils who were typically in previously underperforming schools that have been turned around after becoming sponsored academies."

He added that the attainment gap between disadvantaged and more advantaged pupils had narrowed at a range of levels.

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