Schools: Standards

Department for Education written question – answered on 25th October 2021.

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Photo of Feryal Clark Feryal Clark Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent steps his Department has taken to reduce the attainment gap between state and independent schools in (a) Enfield North constituency, (b) London and (c) England.

Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, Minister of State (Education)

Since 2010, this government has been committed to raising educational standards in all state schools across the country. In March 2020, 86% of schools were Good or Outstanding compared to just 68% in 2010. When it comes to raising standards, evidence shows that teachers are the most important in-school factor affecting attainment.

In June 2021, we announced an investment of over £250 million in teacher development , which includes investment in our National Professional Qualification and Early Career Framework programmes. School leadership is the second most important in-school influence on pupil learning. Since 2010 the number of academies has grown from 200 to over 9,400, enabling more leaders of good schools to make decisions based on local need and the interests of their pupils, and more previously underperforming schools to receive the support they need to raise standards for all pupils as part of a strong multi-academy trust.

We know that COVID-19 and disruption to education has created an additional challenge for schools, and that the impact of the COVID-19 has been felt most significantly by disadvantaged pupils, which is why we have targeted much of our education recovery funding specifically at this group. Through the recovery premium, schools will directly receive over £300 million in the 2021/22 academic year for them to use flexibly to support disadvantaged pupils.

This is in addition to the funding we already target towards disadvantaged pupils as part of the National Funding Formula. The pupil premium targets further funding to disadvantaged pupils and plays a crucial role in the work of schools across England, to ensure they have the resources they need to boost the progress and attainment of disadvantaged pupils. Through this, we will be providing £2.5 billion nationally for the 2021/22 financial year. The pupil premium allocation for London is £405 million, and £19.2 million for Enfield for the 2021/22 financial year.

In Enfield, we know there are a higher number of pupils who are eligible for free school meals, with an average of 37.6% of secondary pupils eligible, compared to the national average of 27.7%. This year, Enfield is receiving £283.4 million, or £5,640 per pupil, in funding. This is an increase of 2.0% per pupil in the local authority’s pupil-led funding compared to the 2020/21 financial year, and is above the national average in per pupil funding of £5,228.

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