KS2 SATs and the Disadvantage Gap

The government is failing to invest either in our schools, or in our most disadvantaged children.


Commenting on Key Stage 2 SATs data for 2023, published today, Niamh Sweeney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:  

“Whilst we do not believe that Key Stage 2 SATs are a fair and accurate method of judging children’s learning, data released today shows an insight into the impact of underfunding and poverty. 

“The disadvantage gap has been reduced by a mere 0.03 and remains significantly higher than in 2019 – evidence of this Government’s failure to meaningfully address child poverty and invest in our schools. In our most recent survey of National Education Union members, 94% of teachers and 97% of support staff respondents believe that poverty or low income affects learning. They have unfortunately been shown to be right by today’s data.

“Primary class sizes are the highest in Europe, making it incredibly difficult for school staff to give children the individual attention and support they need to learn and succeed. The government needs to invest in our schools, and in our most disadvantaged children: it is failing to do so.” 

Editor’s Note

State of Education: Child Poverty, published 4 April 2023: https://neu.org.uk/latest/press-releases/state-education-child-poverty-1

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