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Westminster Education Forum’s ‘Priorities for raising attainment in England’s schools’

John Craven, Director of the Social Mobility Commission, delivered the keynote speech at Westminster Education Forum’s conference.

Event date: 18/04/2023
Event time: 8:30am-1pm
Location: Online

This event assesses the next steps for raising educational attainment and addressing key factors contributing to the attainment gap across England’s schools.

It took place in the context of the Schools White Paper in 2022, which set out the Government’s ambitions for 90% of primary school children to achieve the expected standards in reading, writing and maths by 2030, and for the average national GCSE grade in secondary schools in English and Maths to increase from 4.5 to 5.

Delegates assessed the rollout of the 55 Education Investment Areas (EIA) announced in the White Paper, with a focus on school improvement and what has been effective so far in terms of attainment and provision. They also evaluated recommendations to reform the Pupil Premium, and proposals from the Education Endowment Foundation to boost educational recovery from the pandemic, as well as discussing the progress and effectiveness of the National Tutoring Programme.

Attendees considered the impact of social factors on aims to raise attainment and educational standards, including case studies on tackling education disparities in marginalised groups, and challenges posed by wider concerns over living costs.

The conference also included discussion on disadvantage in early years following recent statistics published by the Department for Education, which found a wide attainment gap in early years education between children on free school meals and their peers.