Education in England: EPI Annual Report 2020


The Education Policy Institute (EPI) has published its Annual Report on the state of education in England, including the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers.

Education in England: Annual Report 2020, which is published in partnership with the Fair Education Alliance (FEA) and Unbound Philanthropy, also examines the gap at a local level, across different school subjects, and among different groups of pupils – including by varying levels of disadvantage.

The new report finds that:

The attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has stopped closing for the first time in a decade. Policymakers have not succeeded in responding to earlier reports warning of a major loss of momentum in closing the gap. Disadvantaged pupils in England are 18.1 months of learning behind their peers by the time they finish their GCSEs – the same gap as five years ago. The gap at primary school increased for the first time since 2007 – which may signal that the gap is set to widen in the future. The stalling of the gap occurred even before the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted the education system. Researchers have identified the increasing proportion of disadvantaged children in persistent poverty as a contributory cause of the lack of progress with narrowing the disadvantage gap.


Mary Reader
Mary Reader
PhD Student

I am a PhD student in Economics at Stanford University. I am also a Visiting Fellow at STICERD at the LSE.