UK Politics

Conservative Party: Widening education gap between the many and the few

News   •   Feb 22, 2010 08:26 GMT

Michael Gove, the Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, reveals analysis showing that the A level achievement gap between independent schools and comprehensives has widened in the last decade.

In 2009, 32.6 per cent of privately schooled A-level candidates gained three A grades, compared to 8.1 per cent in comprehensives. The figures in 1998 were 16.9 per cent and 4.7 per cent respectively.

Private school pupils are four times more likely than comprehensive pupils to achieve three A grades, up from 3.6 times more likely ten years ago.

The analysis also shows that independent schools produced more than 11,500 straight A pupils last summer, compared to 9,725 students from comprehensives. This is despite there being over three times as many pupils sitting A-levels at comprehensive schools than at independent schools.

"Some parents can buy good education via private schools or moving house but others cannot", Gove said.

The Conservative solution, he said, will be to create "a new generation of independent state schools funded by taxpayers but run by teachers and responsible to parents".

This would mean that all parents get what they want, he added: "smaller schools with smaller classes, good behaviour, great teachers and restored confidence in the curriculum".