This week I report on the member’s bill hoping to make school uniform guidance statutory and the release of updated GCSE results from last academic year showing the gap between disadvantaged pupils and others has increased for the second year in a row.
Government backs proposal to cut the cost of school uniforms
On Wednesday a private member’s bill was introduced to seek to make the DfE’s 2013 school uniform guidance statutory. The Government has announced it will back this draft law aimed at cutting the cost of school uniforms and discouraging deals between schools and single uniform suppliers which potentially restricts competition and drives up costs for parents.
Private member’s bills rarely get past the early stages of their development because of Parliamentary time, but the Government’s backing means the school uniform bill is likely to pass. The bill is called the Education guidance about costs of school uniform bill and will have its second reading in the House of Commons on 13 February.
Attainment gap widens between disadvantaged pupils and their peers
An updated breakdown of GCSE results issued by the DfE this week showed the gap between disadvantaged pupils and others increased slightly for the second year in a row. The DfE classes about one in four state school pupils as disadvantaged, defined as having been eligible for free school meals within the five years before sitting GCSEs or if they have been in care or adopted from care.
While more than two-thirds of non-disadvantaged children achieved grade 4 or higher in maths and English, just 36% of those eligible for free school meals did so.