Since 2010 the key objective of education reform has been to reduce the attainment gap in schools. The Government has introduced the £2.5 billion Pupil Premium to support the education of disadvantaged pupils, and since 2010 the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has narrowed by 10% in both primary and secondary school. In 2017, the percentage of pupils achieving the expected Key Stage 2 standard in Reading, Writing and Maths was 61% (48% for disadvantaged pupils and 67% for all other pupils). In 2016, the percentage was 53% (39% for disadvantaged pupils and 60% for all other pupils).
The Department is encouraging and supporting multi-academy trusts with strong track records in school improvement. The Department is already seeing the impact in academies; for instance, Victory Academy, located in one of the most deprived wards in Medway, which has become part of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust, was judged good by Ofsted in November 2017. The Inspire Special Free School; part of the Parallel Learning Trust, improved to good in June 2018.