The Education Policy Institute (EPI) has today published its annual report on the state of education in England, revealing that the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has widened for the second year running.
Responding, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are the victims of a decade of austerity. They have disproportionately suffered from funding cuts not just to education, but to all the wider services that should be there to help them. Successive governments have failed to invest in those who need it the most, and now we see the result.
“The covid-19 pandemic has interrupted education for the majority of children, we must not allow this year to become a turning-point where all of the progress we have made in recent years will be undone.
“Schools were already struggling to provide everything children need before this crisis, damaged as they and other social services have been by a decade of austerity. If schools are to play their part in healing the scars left by covid-19, be that educational, developmental or emotional, they will absolutely require additional support, funding and resources to do so.”
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First published 26 August 2020