A SCHOOLS network has called for an urgent government review into the high impact disadvantage has on student attainment.

Schools North East was responding to a Education Policy Insititute report showing that by the time they took their GCSEs children in disadvantaged parts of the region are 18 months behind their wealthier peers.

The report highlights that nationally the gap between disadvantaged students and the rest of their peers has widened at the secondary level.

Chris Zarraga, director of operations Schools North East, said, “The report is timely and welcome. No one wants to accept that a child’s future will be determined by their past or where they are born, but sadly this is too often the case.

“The news that the attainment gap in secondary schools has widened for the first time in eight years, although disappointing, comes as no surprise and signals the urgency with which the new Prime Minister must act to deliver on the vital funding he has pledged for the education sector.”

He added: “We welcome the new Prime Minister’s commitment to invest £4.6bn in education. However, he must ensure that this funding is targeted appropriately at those areas, such as the North-East, that face the greatest challenges from high impact deprivation and that funding is used to support those methods that are proven to be most effective with the most deprived students.”