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New group set up to tackle educational inequality

20/06/2014 Kelly
A new initiative has been launched by employers, teachers' organisations and children's charities to tackle educational inequality.

The Fair Education Alliance will include 25 organisations that will set specific targets aimed at narrowing the attainment gap between advantaged and disadvantaged children.

Teach First, Barnardo's, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the National Association of Headteachers are among the groups backing the project, the BBC reports.

Arguing that education is vital for the economy, the group claims that there has been a collective failure to address the issue of inequality in education. "The most recent data reveals a stagnating map of educational inequality," it says.

A number of 'impact goals' will underpin the group's progress. The first of these is to narrow the gap in literacy and numeracy at primary school. 

The alliance wants to eliminate 90 per cent of the gap in attainment between primary schools in wealthier areas and those in poorer parts of the country.

Narrowing the gap in GCSE results by 44 per cent is the group's second goal. 

London is used as an example of the kind of success that could be replicated across the country. If pupils in the rest of the country performed as well as those in the capital, most of the educational divides would be bridged.

Brett Wigdortz, chief executive of Teach First, which recruits talented graduates into teaching, said: "I believe we are wasting talent on an industrial scale. By joining forces, we can ensure every child has a fair chance in education and life. 

"We know all political parties and parents believe in this mission - it is time to change that belief into united action."

John Cridland, director-general of the CBI, underlined the vital role played by education in securing economic progress.

He said a long-term approach is needed to create a world-class education system and the Fair Education allowance will help to achieve this.

Education secretary Michael Gove and shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt also gave their backing to the group.

Posted by Harriet McGowanADNFCR-2164-ID-801729785-ADNFCR
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