Tuesday 21 August 2018 / 12:01 AM Angela Rayner / Education

Labour analysis finds “shameful” inequality in England’s education system

Labour analysis finds “shameful” inequality in England’s education system

Ahead of GCSE results day on Thursday, Labour analysis of Ofsted data has found that students at schools in the poorest areas in England are nine times more likely to be in a school rated as inadequate, compared to those in the wealthiest areas. They are also half as likely to be in an outstanding school.

The analysis found sharp inequalities between students at schools in the most and least deprived areas in England at national and regional levels.

Nationally, students in the wealthiest areas consistently attend outstanding and good schools – with only 2 per cent 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 students in the most deprived areas attending schools rated outstanding.
  • In the South West, not a single student in a deprived area goes to a school rated outstanding.
  • In the South East, students in the least deprived areas are 37 times more likely to go to an outstanding school, compared to students in deprived areas.
  • In Yorkshire and the Humber, students in the very poorest areas are 9 times more likely to be in a school that is rated inadequate, compared to students in the least deprived areas.
  • In the East Midlands, students in the poorest areas are 18 times more likely to go to a school rated inadequate.
  • In London, not a single student in the wealthiest areas goes to an inadequate school. In total, 6,750 students in London attend schools rated as inadequate.
  • In the North West just 8 per cent of students in the least deprived areas go to a school rated inadequate or requiring improvement, compared to 54 per cent of those living in the most deprived.
  • In the North East, students in the wealthiest areas are 9 times more likely to go to an outstanding school, compared to students in the most deprived areas.
  • In the East of England, just 3 per cent of students in the most deprived areas attend an outstanding school, compared to 42 per cent of students in the least deprived.
  • In the West Midlands, students in the poorest areas are four times as likely to be at a school that’s rated inadequate, compared to students in the wealthiest areas.

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

Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education, said:

“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.”