Measuring the attainment gap
We have committed to engaging with stakeholders to discuss plans to close the poverty-related attainment gap, including milestones towards delivery. A key focus of these discussions will be to avoid the creation of perverse incentives through whatever targets, milestones or aims that may be set nationally or locally.
Measurement can take a variety of forms, from hard performance delivery indicators to milestones and longer-term stretch aims. Our approach will be to encourage the intelligent use of data at school, local and national level, with the primary focus on driving improvement rather than simply for accountability.
Improvement measures are, and will continue to be, developed to harness the energy and motivation of those delivering on the ground and demonstrate progress towards desired outcomes.
At a national level, as a first step, we will use the data that will be published each year through the National Improvement Framework Evidence Report to show the poverty-related attainment gap at different stages of school and across literacy and numeracy.
We are clear that we want to see the poverty-related attainment gap close wherever, whenever and however it is measured. The cycle of deprivation must be interrupted at every opportunity. The data in the 2016 National Improvement Framework Evidence Report provides a range of possible ways of measuring the attainment gap. We will work with key stakeholders in the coming months to explore and agree which specific measures are most useful to drive improvement across all stages of a child or young person's life and will use these to measure progress towards closing the gap.