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NAHT joins more than 20 organisations in landmark bid to end education inequality

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NAHT is proud to be part of the Fair Education Alliance – a coalition committed to closing the achievement gap between young people from our poorest communities and their wealthier peers.

Sharing a platform for the first time today (20 June 2014) at the Sunday Times Festival of Education, the alliance will unveil five fair education impact goals. Created after consultation with more than 1,700 teachers and leading experts, charities, businesses and teachers, the goals follow the educational journey of a child to:

  1. narrow the gap in literacy and numeracy at primary school;
  2. narrow the gap in GCSE attainment at secondary school;
  3. ensure young people develop key strengths, including resilience and wellbeing, to support high aspirations;
  4. narrow the gap in the proportion of young people taking part in further education or employment-based training after finishing their GCSEs; and
  5. narrow the gap in university graduation, including from the 25 per cent most selective universities, by eight per cent. 

As well as NAHT, organisations include other prestigious groups with a keen interest in child welfare from Teach First to Barnardo’s, The Prince’s Trust to Save the Children, and Canterbury Christ Church University to the RSA. This is the first time such a diverse range of organisations have come together to work towards tackling this problem. See a full list of organisations involved here.

The Fair Education Alliance is a new coalition for change in education comprising 24 of the UK’s leading organisations. Its aim is to work towards ending the persistent achievement gap between young people from our poorest communities and their wealthier peers.

Committed to this common goal, the alliance will both work collectively to find solutions to address educational inequality, as well as annually monitoring the progress made to narrow the gap.

The work of the alliance has already been welcomed by key figures in education.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said: “This new campaign underlines the importance of our mission to improve state education. 

“Every child should have the opportunity to succeed, regardless of their background. That is why we are investing in the poorest through the pupil premium, setting higher standards for all children through our new curriculum and qualifications, and helping hundreds of struggling schools. 

“I welcome this new alliance of influential educational, charitable and business organisations to help us defeat the entrenched inequality of opportunity which has been a feature of our education system for far too long.” 

Schools Minister David Laws said: “The coalition government is committed to raising attainment for all children and to closing the gap that holds disadvantaged children back. And we are making progress. Poor children are doing better than ever at school, with the proportion of children on free school meals getting five good GCSEs including English and maths increasing from 31 per cent in 2010 to 38 per cent in 2013. And we are raising our investment. Next year, the pupil premium will be worth £2.5 billion meaning that poor children will now receive an additional £14,000 throughout their school career. 

“But we know that there is more to do and that central government can’t do it alone. So, I am delighted that through the Fair Education Alliance such a range of organisations have come together to contribute their efforts to tackle this urgent and important problem.” 

Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt said: “The Fair Education Alliance has set out a series of bold and ambitious goals for the next 10 years. The aim: to end the link between social disadvantage and educational inequality that blights our society. I have no doubt today’s launch, bringing together so many powerful organisations, marks an important milestone in tackling the scar of the country’s education divide. 

“I welcome that the new Fair Education Alliance will seek to find the long-term solutions that will help us close the attainment gap and ensure that every child realises his or her potential. I look forward to working with the alliance to achieve this mission”. 

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Page Published: 19/06/2014