She said the gap between rich and poor in national curriculum test results and admissions to universities had grown.
"We must treat seriously the possibility that - despite all our efforts - who your parents are still affects attainment as much in 2004 as it did in 1998," she told a seminar at the Institute of Public Policy Research.
She said improvement in English and maths tests for 11-year-olds among youngsters on free school meals was slower than those from more affluent homes.
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