Almost 30,000 highly able students did not achieve top grades at GCSE between 2017 and 2021 simply due to the fact they live in poverty.

These disadvantaged students are twice as likely to drop-out of the top-third of GCSE attainment, getting a whole grade lower per-subject on average than their most affluent peers.

Furthermore, the high-potential disadvantaged children most likely to fall behind at GCSE include white boys and black Caribbean pupils, those with SEN, and those living in the North East and North West of England.

A study from the Sutton Trust (Holt-White & Cullinane, 2023) has added yet more weight to the growing evidence-based showing the stark impact that disadvantage has on educational attainment for our poorest students.

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