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Whiteman: We need to rethink how we tackle in inequality in this country

Today (Mon 18 May) the Institute for Fiscal Studies publishes some new data which suggests that educational gaps are growing during lockdown.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “This is an important study. Lockdown has provided a unique opportunity for policy-makers to reboot their attitude to disadvantage and equality of opportunity.

“The disadvantage gap was huge before lockdown. Schools have taken action since to ensure that any further disadvantage has been minimised. Without doubt, education plays a key role in navigating a route out of poverty, but a lack of education does not in itself cause poverty. Other social factors do that, and to date they have consistently worked against schools' efforts. We need to rethink how we tackle inequality in this country.

“It would be disappointing if the same old arguments and assumptions about disadvantage were allowed to persist once lockdown has ended. NAHT will be encouraging the government to grasp this moment and use it to level the playing field once and for all.”

Press and Media contacts:

Steven George
NAHT Head of Press and Media
01444 472886
07970 907730

Rose Tremlett 
Senior Press Officer 
07545 354363

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