English Baccalaureate: Disadvantaged

Department for Education written question – answered on 29th January 2019.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of disadvantaged students who leave secondary education having completed the English Baccalaureate.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The revised GCSE performance tables[1], published on 24 January 2019, show that in 2018 26.4% of disadvantaged pupils were entered for the EBacc, the highest this figure has been since the measure was introduced in 2010. In 2011, just 8.6% of disadvantaged pupils were entered for the EBacc subject combination. An increase has also been seen this year in EBacc attainment amongst disadvantaged pupils. The gap between EBacc entry for disadvantaged pupils and their non-disadvantaged peers has closed by 1.2 percentage points since 2017. Schools such as Dixons Trinity Academy (which is in an area of high disadvantage) lead the way. They entered 86% of their pupils for the EBacc in 2018.

Overall, however, disadvantaged pupils remain less likely to be entered for the EBacc subjects as their non-disadvantaged peers, and the gap in EBacc subject entry persists, even among the most academically able disadvantaged pupils. The Department has said that it would like to see 90% of year 10 pupils starting to study GCSEs in the EBacc combination of subjects by 2025.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/key-stage-4-and-multi-academy-trust-performance-2018-revised.

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