The problem | Teach First

The problem

Children from the poorest families are only half as likely as others to get five A*-C grades at GCSE

And, of these children, nearly 50% achieve no GCSEs above a D grade. The odds against a child eligible for free school meals at a state secondary school being admitted to Oxbridge are 2000-1. For a privately educated child it's 20-1. 

The link between income and attainment is stronger in the UK than almost anywhere else in the world

This is the reality of education in the UK – children from poorer households do not achieve at the same rate as their wealthier peers, even when they have the ability and aspirations to do so. Their education should work to counter this inequality, rather than entrenching it. And the consequences are far-reaching. In the UK, the lifespans of those in the poorest neighbourhoods are on average nine years shorter than those in the wealthiest, and within these shorter lives people have fewer opportunities, less choice, lower incomes and more health problems. 

We believe this is wrong – demographic is not destiny.

 

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