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GCSE inequalities: Children on free school meals unlikely to get top grades! Says Kier Starmer


Image Credit: Ground News

Whilst GCSE results has seen a grade inflation, this year's results have also highlighted the inequalities when attaining those grades.


There has been a record number of GCSE entries awarded top grades this year, where Independent and secondary selective schools are continuing to have a strong performance.


According to JCQ, females have outperformed male students this year. 7/A grades increased by 3.2 pp for females, whilst it was only 2.2pp for male students.


Although female students only narrowly increased at 4/C grades by 0.4pp for females, whereas male students increased by 1.3pp. Female students also outperformed male students in maths for the first time since 2008.

Not only has there been a gender gap, but there has also been a difference in grades between regions. London achieved the best results across England, where as Yorkshire and Humber had the worst performance, due to a lack of improvement compared to the previous year.


There is also a socio-economic inequality as well. With many students who were on free school meals, they missed out on achieving top marks. Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour party addressed this concern, he said:


"But sadly, across the country, many children haven't been given the opportunities to reach their potential -those on free school meals were half as likely to get top grades". -Keir Starmer

Despite the inequalities that many students have faced this year, Dr Philip Wright, Director General of JCQ is proud of all students receiving their results today, he said:


"The impact of Covid has undoubtedly provided a difficult chapter in their education journey and their resilience is to be applauded. We wish them all the best as they take their next steps in life.


Dr Philip Wright also highlighted how this grading system compared to last year was better not only for students, but also for teachers, he said: "Teachers used their professional judgement and submitted the grades and evidence in good time for us to check and award grades today".


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