It’s a nail biting time for youngsters waiting to find out their GCSE results but at least tomorrow the wait is over – and I hope you all get what you were hoping for.
Labour has just completed some analysis of Ofsted data and the findings are worrying – but not altogether unexpected. The analysis found sharp inequalities between the most and least deprived pupils at national and regional levels.
The data shows that the poorest students in England are nine times more likely to be in secondary schools rated inadequate, compared to their wealthiest peers. They are also half as likely to be in an outstanding school.
Nationally, the wealthiest students consistently attend outstanding and good schools – with only 2% in schools that are rated inadequate.
Labour’s analysis also found that the gap between the rich and the poor grows considerably starker at a regional level.
Seven regions fall below the national average of 19 per cent of the most deprived students attending outstanding schools.
In the North West just 8 per cent of the least deprived go to a school rated inadequate or requiring improvement, compared to 54 per cent of the most deprived.
Last year, a report by the Fair Education Alliance found Britain’s poorest children are more than a year behind their wealthier peers by the time they sit their GCSEs.
These findings are so upsetting. No child should be held back from reaching their potential because of their background. While the Tories have gifted tax cuts to big businesses, per pupil funding has been cut in real terms. It is the most vulnerable children paying the price for the resulting crisis in our education system.
The next Labour government will invest in a National Education Service, giving our schools the funding they need to raise standards and improve outcomes, so every child gets the education they deserve, regardless of their background.
If your youngster didn’t get the grades they were expecting or hoping for please make the most of the support available by your school – and remember some of the most successful people in life weren’t very good at taking exams and went on to achieve great things. Richard Branson left school at 16, Simon Cowell left school with one 0 level as did Lord Alan Sugar and Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of university to become two of the richest people in the world. We all take different paths in life and sometimes the unconventional is the one that’s right for you.