UK Politics

Liberal Democratic Party: Performance gap between the poorest pupils widens across the country says Laws

Press Release   •   Feb 01, 2010 10:56 GMT

New figures released today by the Liberal Democrats highlight a previously unidentified performance gap between poor children based on which part of the country they live in.

They show the gap between the GCSE results of poor children in different parts of the country has dramatically widened over recent years. This gap is now bigger than the national performance gap between rich and poor children, and between poor children and the rest.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Schools Secretary, David Laws said:

“It is astonishing that the gap between the exam results of poor pupils in different parts of the country is now wider than the national gap between children from the richest and poorest families. Labour has failed to tackle this real unfairness at the heart of our education system.

“It is unacceptable that the life chances of children should vary so much across the country. One of the reasons for this huge gap seems to be the very unfair funding of schools in different parts of the country.

“Many schools find that they have far less funding than other schools with similar challenges. This is incredibly unfair.

“No one should diminish what has been achieved in some parts of the country – not least in Inner London. I do not want to see a raid on the budgets of successful schools – what we have to do is bring the funding of all schools with similar challenges up to the levels of the best.  Every child deserves a fair start in life, no matter where they are in the country.”