Teachers still expect less of poorer students


Children from deprived backgrounds are being let down by teachers who have low expectations of poor students, leading to a “shocking gap in performance” between rich and poor, according to a new report.

Exam results for disadvantaged children remain “shockingly low”, the report from the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission concludes.

A poll of more than 1,100 teachers carried out for the commission found that 21 per cent believed colleagues at their school had lower expectations of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. In secondaries the number rose to 26 per cent.

Alan Milburn, the former cabinet minister who chairs the commission, said: “Head teachers and governors have a responsibility to ensure that every teacher in every school has uniformly high expectations of their students. Our polling suggests that although the vast majority of teachers expect the best from every pupil, regardless of background, in some schools low expectations of disadvantaged students remains a problem.”