One in four children in the UK grows up in poverty. The attainment gap between rich and poor is detectable at an early age (22 months) and widens throughout the education system. Children from the lowest income homes are half as likely to get five good GCSEs and go on to higher education. White working class pupils (particularly boys) are among the lowest performers. The link between poverty and attainment is multi-racial with socio-economic gaps much greater than those between different ethnic groups.
Effective assessment, tracking and feedback is essential throughout key stage 3 in order to ensure that every pupil achieves his or her potential and that attainment gaps are not allowed to widen. And yet, in a majority of its inspections between 2013 and 2015, Ofsted found many schools neglect these three years of a child’s education and are then forced to take remedial action at key stage 4.
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