The BBC is reporting that poorer pupils are increasingly making less progress at secondary school in England compared with their more affluent peers, according to a new study.
The Social Mobility Commission said poorer pupils were often overtaken by their better-off peers even if they had outperformed them at primary school.
The gap, which was most apparent in poor white children, has widened every year since 2012.
The Department for Education accepted it had “more to do” on the issue.
Researchers examined the GCSE results of pupils on free school meals and those who were not, across two sets of eight subjects.
These results were then measured in relation to how the pupils had performed in their Key Stage 2 Sats tests, in their final year of primary school.
The difference in progress was said to be partly the result of poorer children being more likely to be placed in lower sets, having access to less qualified teachers and having lower expectations set for them.
On average, children on free school meals made between a quarter and a third of a GCSE grade less progress than their more affluent peers.
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