EPI's disadvantage gap study reveals poorer 16-19 year olds behind their peers - AoC responds

01 Mar 2021

Responding to Education Policy Institute's report revealing the gap between poorer sixth form and college students and their more affluent peers, Chief Executive of AoC, the representative body for England's colleges, David Hughes said: 

“The EPI report confirms what we all know, that growing up in poverty or disadvantage impacts on educational achievement. That’s precisely why there is a pupil premium in schools. Sadly it stops at age 16, even though the impact of disadvantage does not. This analysis backs up our plea for a higher funding rate for 16 to 19 year olds and for an extension of the pupil premium to age 19. Young people in England’s school sixth forms and colleges have lower hours of teaching, less support and less enrichment than their peers in other countries, and less than those in private schools. That needs to change.

Colleges work hard to deliver great education and training to over 650,000 young people, and meet the needs of twice the number of disadvantaged 16 to 18-year-olds in further education colleges compared to school sixth forms. Sadly, the funding is not adequate, and actually reduces further for 18 year olds who might need a three year programme to achieve their ambitions.  

The government talks a lot about levelling up. Here’s a chance to show they mean it, by boosting funding for the most disadvantaged young people so that they can be supported into good jobs or progress in learning.”

You can read the report from Education Policy Institute here.