According to a report out today: “The gap between the poorest pupils and their better-off peers in struggling schools in England is wider than in other schools, research suggests.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-14082644
In schools below the national average standard a Sutton Trust study found that primary school children eligible for free school meals were half as likely to achieve their targetted standards as other pupils and by secondary school this had dropped to one third as likely. The BBC news report commented that “these attainment gaps are significantly larger than the gaps between free school meals-eligible pupils in all schools and their peers who are not eligible for free school meals” .
It seems, from the news report, that this is to cause a high level of focus on these underperforming schools, and through them target the children who are struggling. Although this is a necessary measure there is little or no mention of interventions outside of school. From our experience of working with adults who have been undeperforming poverty stricken children it seems obvious that support needs to be offered in the homelife to give any chance at all of positive changes in the school life. It’s a bit like focusing on achieving housing for a rough-sleeper without taking account of any of their other issues. But sadly it seems by the time someone has ended up sleeping-rough or similar they are fairly used to having their life divided up into silos of support need instead of being treated as a whole person.