It was fantastic to be in attendance at our partner the Fair Education Alliance’s Annual Summit last week, joining 400 other sector leaders and innovators to work together and advocate for an equitable education for all.
The day focused discussions around the 2022 Report Card released by the FEA, which uncovers significant, pervasive disadvantage gaps across education and their root causes:
- The attainment gaps at primary and GCSE are each at their highest levels since 2012.
- Regional disparities are widening, and those who have been in poverty the longest are falling further behind.
- The mental health and wellbeing of poorer pupils and those with SEND has failed to bounce back from pandemic lows at the same rate as others.
- Socio-economic status still dictates the type of destination young people enter post-16.
- The gap in progression rates to university has actually grown over the past decade, especially for the most selective universities.
The report puts forward recommendations to address these, including a collective response on the three themes of poverty, place, and power, around which the day’s sessions were structured - as well as a session on how to influence change in the challenging current climate.
There were also a number of workshops throughout the day: our Founder and CEO Tom Ravenscroft and COO Robert Craig delivered sessions on scaling impact and financial management for non-profit organisations.
Developing the whole learner
In each session we heard, there was a broad consensus on how important well-rounded development is for everyone in education - balancing learners’ wellbeing, essential skills, technical and basic skills, and knowledge acquisition. Embedding these holistic focuses as core components of each and every school curriculum will significantly increase the quality of education for those learners that are feeling the most dire effects of educational inequalities.
Working together in education
We’re both proud to be a founding member of the FEA and to have the FEA as a partner of Skills Builder Partnership. It’s up to all of us to close the gaps outlined in the Report Card head on: what this day really demonstrated is just how much can be achieved when we use our collective voice to effect lasting systemic change across education and beyond.
You can read the FEA 2022 Report Card and its recommendations in more detail here.