Short-term, place-sensitive responses will be essential to closing the Covid-induced geographic rift in learning and preventing disparities in attainment from widening.
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The benefits of the Government’s u-turn will be felt most in cities and large towns in the North of England and the Midlands where pupils are more likely to be disadvantaged.
There is a concern that school closures – albeit necessary for public health reasons – will further widen the gap between children living in disadvantaged areas and their better off peers.
New research by the Department for Education shows educational attainment for children from disadvantaged backgrounds is higher in big cities, but a lot of questions still remain unanswered