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Room for Improvement: ippr's response to the schools white paper

children, education, equality, poverty, public services, reform, schools

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Author(s):  Rick Muir, Jonathan Clifton
Published date:  03 Dec 2010
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The government’s schools white paper, The Importance of Teaching, heralds some of the most significant reforms to our schools system in many years.

The government proposes to make substantial changes to how teachers are trained and recruited; to reform school funding to channel more resources towards the poorest pupils; to introduce a new ‘English Baccalaureate’ to be awarded to pupils who attain A*–C GCSEs in English, maths, science, a humanity and a modern language; and to initiate a wide-ranging reform of the national curriculum.

This paper focuses specifically on how the measures outlined in the white paper address the attainment gap that exists between children from disadvantaged backgrounds and children from wealthier families. This is a deeply entrenched problem which has scarred the English schools system for far too long. The impact of these reforms on the life chances of the most socially disadvantaged children is a litmus test of the Coalition government’s claim to be a progressive administration committed to tackling social injustice.


Our people

Rick Muir, Associate Director for Public Service Reform

Jonathan Clifton, Senior Research Fellow


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