“The report demonstrates that the link between social demography and educational destiny has not been broken. An approach which focuses just on schools will never fully address the underlying issues; for the best results for young people, we must end child poverty and then go further to create a less unequal society. The Government therefore needs to address the root causes of disadvantage as well as provide money for those services beyond schools that support children, young people and families.
“The report also shows that recent education policy, such as the constant assessment of children, compounds the gap caused by disadvantage. The Government needs to rethink these damaging policies.
“Adequate resources must be provided at the right stages of education. Trying to fix the problem when children reach secondary school is far too late, but increasing funding in early years can improve later attainment hugely. Current funding for early years provision is wholly inadequate and needs to be reviewed if the Government is serious about ensuring that disadvantaged children get the best start.”