Responding to the publication of the Education Policy Institute’s (EPI) Annual Report on the state of education in England today (Wednesday 25 July), Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:
“This report shows that there has been a significant slowdown in closing the attainment gap between advantaged and disadvantaged children in recent years, as rising child poverty and cuts to vulnerable children’s services take their toll. Five years ago we might have expected to close the disadvantage gap in English and maths in 50 years’ time – now it would take 100 years to close.
“It is now clear that structural tinkering by successive governments has made little difference to the attainment of disadvantaged children. What makes the difference is what school leaders have been asking for all along – sufficient funding from the government to supply all schools with the high quality teachers and resources they need, and robust support from local welfare services.
“School leaders welcome the idea of Damian Hinds’ promise of ‘a period of stability’, with a break from endless ideologically driven upheaval, but it must be backed with an increase in school funding. Schools are happy to be left alone to get on with the job of teaching but rising costs cannot be put on pause, and cuts to schools and local authorities are biting ever deeper.”
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