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NAHT comments on widened disadvantage gap at GCSE

Commenting as the government releases data on GCSE performance today, showing a widened disadvantage gap in 2021 compared to previous years, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “The Coronavirus pandemic impacted all pupils but some were more able to continue their learning than others, and we have seen a widening disadvantage gap as a result.

“The government could have ameliorated some of this by acting faster to ensure all children have equal access to technology and connectivity in order to continue learning remotely.

“The fundamental issues creating disadvantage must be addressed by government if we are to make a real difference in the future.

“Sadly, the investment from the government announced last week falls far short of what is needed. The increase in per pupil spending announced takes us back to 2010 levels, representing a failure to invest in children’s futures for over a decade.

“If schools are to fully play their part in healing the scars left by Covid-19, be that educational, developmental or emotional, they and other key support services must be given the additional support, funding and resources they need to do so.”

First published 04 November 2021