Educational failure has a crushing impact on a child’s future. Lower qualifications depress earning potential and make unemployment more likely, while low basic skills are linked with poor home learning environments.
Disadvantaged pupils are particularly susceptible to educational failure. On average, they are 18 months behind when they take their GCSEs, and almost two thirds do not achieve passes in English and maths GCSEs. A child in one of England’s poorest areas is 10 times more likely to go to a substandard school than one in its richest areas. And for most, higher education remains a faint prospect, particularly in the top third of universities.
For children excluded from school, reality is bleaker still. Just 4.3 per cent of pupils in alternative providers pass English and maths GCSEs, and almost half do not progress to a sustained destination. Meanwhile, 58 per cent of young adults in prison were permanently excluded at school.
But it is not just school-age pupils we must support. Millions of adults, too, need help to upskill and reskill. Around 6 million are not qualified to level 2 (GCSE level), and our jobs market is rapidly being remoulded by technology and the world economy.
All of these challenges together constitute a social injustice, but also an economic threat as we deprive our country of considerable and diverse talent.
In response to some of these challenges, our education system is currently undergoing extensive and widespread reform, the full effects of which will not be felt for some time. In the meantime, there is work to do and so the CSJ has established a permanent Education Unit within its policy team. Its recent projects include:
- In 2022 we published an AP quality toolkit, through the IntegratED network. The AP Quality Toolkit provides a comprehensive framework, shared understanding and common vocabulary for AP quality. We believe that it has the power to transform the way AP quality is understood, evaluated and improved.
- We continue to engage in work on exclusions and AP through the APPG, as well as live projects which investigate unregistered AP and elective home education.
- Summer 2022 sees the culmination of reports on Mental Health provision in schools, adult community education and literacy and numeracy in primary schools. To inform a plan for education in England post pandemic.
About the APPG
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on School Exclusions and Alternative Provision is a group of 11 MPs and Peers set up to improve outcomes for vulnerable children by facilitating upstream working to reduce preventable exclusions and improve the quality of education for children excluded from school.
The Centre for Social Justice is providing secretariat to the APPG for School Exclusions and Alternative Provision.
Follow the APPG on twitter @APPGexclusionAP
Officers of the APPG
Chair: Andy Carter MP
Co-Chair: Lord Storey
Vice-Chair: Lord Knight, Sally-Ann Hart MP, Jonathan Gullis MP
Officers: Miriam Cates MP, Sarah Jones MP
Members: Edward Timpson MP, Robert Halfon MP, Kim Johnson MP, Lord Addington, Baroness Estelle Morris
The dates for forthcoming APPG meetings will be posted here in due course.