This report ­from the Department for Education highlights regional differences in attainment gaps between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils.

Significant support has been directed to London to reduce social inequalities in pupil attainment and outcomes. This report calculates regional ‘attainment gaps’ from the difference in the percentage of pupils achieving at least five GCSEs at A*-C including English and Maths for the academic year 2013/14. Alongside showing strong regional differences in the size of the gaps, it calculates economic benefits to reducing them.

Summary:

  • The size of the attainment gap at GCSE is smallest in London at 21 percentage points and greatest in the South East  (32.7 percentage points for boys and 32.5 percentage points for girls).
  •  If the attainment gap in all regions could be reduced to the same size as London, this would lead to an increase of around 125,000 disadvantaged pupils achieving the equivalent of five or more GCSES at A*-C including English and maths if effects were replicated for children currently of school age across England.
  • If disadvantaged pupils in all regions performed as well as disadvantaged pupils in London, this would lead to an overall economic benefit of around £20 billion in present value terms.

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