Commenting on results day for GCSEs and equivalent qualifications, Elise Temple, Nacro Principal and Director of Education and Skills, said:
“The North-South divide for students’ achievements has persisted for another year, and we expect this will again be true for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds when compared with their better-off peers. Last year, only one in three students in receipt of free school meals achieved the equivalent of five ‘good’ GCSEs or more, locking many out of further education, training and job opportunities.
Funding is urgently needed. GCSE equivalents must be protected, so that opportunities remain open to those facing barriers to learning, whilst ‘Pupil Premium’ funded support and careers advice available for younger students must be extended to those up to 19 years old. These steps are vital for young people to access work and further study. Our message is clear: As young people grapple with unprecedented challenges, we must open more doors for them, not fewer.”