The widening gap of educational success in the United Kingdom.
by ProvocativeTrash on January 30, 2015 - 1:37pm
Richard Adams, education editor of The Guardian writes that the GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) gap has widened between the rich and poor. According to recent statistics, only 1 in 3 disadvantaged student achieve the GSCE’s passing level. Data collected on last year’s exams in England indicate that 53% of pupils earned themselves a C or above, which is a 6% fall from 2013. The gap in GSCE pass rates was 26.7 percentage points in 2013, but rose to 27.2 % last school year.
According to Brett Wigdortz, CE of the graduate teacher recruitment charity Teach first mentioned that “Things are getting worse for poorer children, instead of better.” Despite the trend, King Solomon Academy in London, a school where 2/3 of pupils are disadvantaged enough to be eligible for free school meals had a GSCE pass rate of 93% amongst its poorer students. Meanwhile, King Edward VI Five Ways, a privileged Birmingham academy had a 100% GSCE pass rate out of 155 pupils.
Changes brought to the education system caused the weighing of certain courses to drop and also removed a number of vocational courses from the GSCE.
Nicky Morgan, education secretary of the UK, spoke on the matter of changes to the education system that possibly triggered the widening gap, saying that “By stripping out thousands of poor-quality qualifications, some schools have seen changes in their standings.”
While decisions made by the education wing of the UK can’t be influenced directly, they can be rallied for. To fix this gap, it is clear that less privileged students need more support in schoolwork and more programs to aid them, such as free school meals and extracurricular activities. Even though the modern “democratic process” isn’t explicitly functional, UK citizens must call their local representatives and get in touch with the administrations managing schools to influence more change in the school systems. Only as a collective movement will such a thing occur, thus it is vital to influence others to get in contact with those who manage not only the schools, but also those who run the country.
The Guardian is a trusted center-left to liberal newspaper based in London who retains credibility through the consistency of the transparency of the articles it publishes. It has been under fire by its own government during the Edward Snowden scandal, where the GCHQ(Government Communications Headquarters) ordered the seizing and destruction of the hard drives of information on the matter. This article in particular draws its figures from the national GSCE scores obtained from government statistics. This ensures trust in the information communicated to the reader.
Adams, Richard. GSCE gap between rich and poor widens. The Guardian, London January 29, 2015. January 30, 2014. Web.