For many young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, a good education can be the key that unlocks career, income and social mobility. Sadly, the already large attainment gap between disadvantaged students and their peers at Key Stage 2 has widened since the pandemic, increasing by 11 per cent between the school years 2018 to 2019 and 2021 to 2022. Furthermore, In 2021/22, 43 per cent of students eligible for free school meals met the expected standard for reading and maths compared to 66 per cent of other pupils.
Doing everything we can to get education policy right is therefore a vital priority and a moral imperative. Looking at what is successful elsewhere could help us understand what might also work here.