Poverty gap exposed in Ashfield GCSE results

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A worrying gap between GCSE results for those who receive free school meals and those who do not has been unearthed, MP Gloria De Piero has claimed.

The Ashfield representative has now accused the Government of failing to help those with disadvantaged backgrounds, calling the findings “unacceptable”.

In 2015 just 34.3 per cent of disadvantaged pupils in Ashfield achieved five A* to C grade GCSEs including English and maths - that is 118 students out of 344 pupils.

But according to the figures, which Ms De Piero has obtained from the House of Commons library, 59.6 per cent of Ashfield pupils from non-disadvantaged backgrounds made the grade - 440 of 738 pupils.

This means that disadvantaged teens – that is those who qualify for free school meals or have been in care – are only just over half as likely to make the grade as people from better off backgrounds.

Ms De Piero insists that these results are more evidence that the Government is continuing failing to help 
people from poorer backgrounds.

She said: “This Government says it wants to help disadvantaged kids get on in life but the huge gap between the results of poorer students and those from other backgrounds show that they are failing to do this.

“By not achieving five good GCSEs including English and maths, nearly two-thirds of disadvantaged Ashfield teenagers will not be able to go on to study A-levels and will see potential career paths blocked.

“This is unacceptable and the Government should be doing more to ensure these students and their schools have the support they need to 
help them achieve their potential.”

The England average for disadvantaged pupils achieving the benchmark of five good GCSEs including English and maths grades was 36.8 per cent in 2015, while for the East Midlands it was 31.9 per cent.

It comes just two months after the head of education watchdog, Ofsted, said the East Midlands was, in general, was the poorest performing region in the country.