Wirral LA Wirral Learning Hub

... > Closing the Gap

Narrowing the Gap

What gap?

The gap between the attainment of children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and the attainment of other pupils. There are many groups of children whose attainment is significantly lower than that of their peers, and one of the largest such groups is FSM pupils.  The attainment of FSM children is much lower than that of non-FSM children in almost every measure, and this gap is evident in every age group.

How big is the gap?

In 2009 the 5+A*-C including English and maths attainment of Wirral's non-FSM pupils was 63%; the FSM figure was 26% - a gap of 37%. Only four other local authorities had gaps wider than this.  Both locally and nationally the gap has scarcely changed in recent years.
At age 11 in 2009, 81% of non-FSM pupils attained L4+ in both English and maths; the corresponding figure for FSM pupils was 57% - a gap of 24%. This gap is fairly static on Wirral but is showing a steady, if slow, narrowing nationally.
What is being done?

Wirral Council has stated explicitly in its Corporate Plan the goal of reducing inequalities between disadvantaged groups and others. Correspondingly, the Children and Young People's Department (CYPD) plan has in it a key priority to close the attainment gap where poverty and disadvantage affect achievement.
Specific actions can be found in the Primary and Secondary Sections

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