Two reports have been published this week which both look at the gender gap in education. One report by Save the Children, looks at the proportion of boys in early education who achieved the expected standard in early language and communication last year. It identifies that, overall, there is a significant disparity between girls and boys achieving the standard: 25% and 14% respectively; even more so between those eligible for free school meals (FSM) and those who are not (88% non-FSM girls, 77% non-FSM boys, 77% FSM girls, 62% FSM boys). Further still, there is disparity between girls and boys who are eligible for FSM (as above, 77% FSM girls and 62% FSM boys).
Another report, by LKMCo, looks at the underrepresentation of white working class boys in higher education. While acknowledging that the attainment of this group is lower than their peers, it notes that this under-representation occurs even where attainment is high. The report suggests that other factors, such as a view that a university degree is a poor form of investment, lack of role models to inform them of the benefits of higher education, and lack of access to “cultural capital” all conspire to reduce the likelihood of this group seeking a university degree. It also notes that the lack of an agreed definition of “white working class” makes it difficult to introduce measures to tackle the deficit.