Poverty hits children’s performance

Child poverty is leading to glaring social inequality, according
to a discussion document from the prime minister’s strategy
unit, writes Natasha Salari.

The document, which analyses long-running trends and considers
future government priorities, states that “performance
closely correlates with class” in educational achievement.
Less able richer children overtake more able poorer children by the
age of five.

At the age of seven, just two per cent of the pupils at schools
with an affluent intake failed to reach the required maths
standard, compared to 20 per cent of children in schools with a
deprived intake, with the gap widening at age 14 with 17 and 86 per
cent respectively.

Evidence from the US is also highlighted in the discussion
document with research showing that integrated education, care,
family support and health services leads to increased educational
attainment, reduced crime, increased future income for children and
improved behaviour and health outcomes.

The document goes on to say that the UK could consider taking
practical steps for children, including building on the Sure Start
strategy, substantially reducing reception class sizes in primary
schools in deprived areas and renewing efforts to encourage social
mixing to raise aspirations.

Audit: Discussion Document from the Prime Minister’s Strategy

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