We must step up our efforts and support young people to access opportunities and secure their futures.
The Covid pandemic has widened the disadvantage gap in grades between disadvantaged students and their peers. Recent findings from the Education Policy Institute demonstrate that in 2021 the key stage 4 disadvantage gap increased by the largest annual amount since comparable statistics have been available over the last decade. The GCSE gap for persistently poor children – those who are in poverty for at least 80 per cent of their time in school – is twice the size of the gap for those children who are in poverty for a much shorter period of their time in school. This gap is now the same size as in 2011.
In 2019 62% of participants in the Future Quest programme achieved grades 9-4 in English and Maths at GCSE compared to the 44% school average for disadvantaged students.
In 2020 43.9% of participants progressed to higher education compared to the 29.9% national average for disadvantaged students.
Our work contributes to a stronger evidence base around ‘what works’ in higher education outreach and we are working collaboratively to strengthen evaluation practice in the sector.