Deprivation in Education

Simon Rutt, David Sims, Rose Cook

28 October 2014

The interaction between deprivation and education is a critical relationship with profound implications for a country’s economic prosperity and the social mobility of its citizens. This is highlighted by the Welsh Government which states that: ‘A good education is critical to better life chances and a commitment to achieving this has been an important part of the culture of modern Wales since devolution’. Because of this the Welsh Government commissioned the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) to carry out a research study to replicate research undertaken for a report on deprivation and education published by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (2009). The study aims to provide an analysis which replicates the data tables presented in the DCSF report with data relevant to Wales and additional tables and charts specific to the Welsh context. Further analysis looked at the progression between Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4 and provided a descriptive commentary identifying the content of the tables and the differences contained within them.

Key Findings

  • Pupils eligible for FSM are more likely to be absent from school than non-FSM pupils. In secondary schools the absence rate of FSM pupils is around double that of non-FSM pupils between Years 8 and 11
  • Pupils eligible for FSM have, on average, lower attainment than other pupils throughout their progression in the education system in Wales. The gap in attainment identified at Foundation Phase remains at the end of Key Stage 2 and the gap widens further in secondary education
  • The attainment gap at GCSE has decreased over time but the attainment of FSM pupils at GCSE remains comparatively low

Related Titles

Deprivation in Education , Deprivation in Education , Deprivation in Education , STEM Education Learning Report , Teachers’ Use of Research Evidence , Consultation on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) for the Education and Training Foundation

Sponsor Details

Welsh Government