THE shutdown of schools could leave poor kids 16 months behind better-off classmates, a study found.
By the end of primary school, they are on average 9.2 months behind richer pupils.
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This gap could widen to as much as 16 months if schools stay shut until September, the Education Endowment Foundation and Sutton Trust found.
The study said it was “highly unlikely” a short-term catch-up strategy could make up the time.
EEF’s Prof Becky Francis said poor kids were “particularly impacted” by not being in school.
The report states: “The projections suggest that school closures will widen the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers, likely reversing progress made to narrow the gap since 2011."
It adds: “It is highly likely that the gap will have widened when pupils return to school, even if the strongest possible mitigatory steps are put in place.
“There is a risk that high levels of absence after schools formally reopen poses a particular risk for disadvantaged pupils.”
Ministers faced down militant trade unions to order the phased reopening of primary schools from Monday – 10 weeks after they were shut down.
But a string of mainly northern councils are refusing to open their schools until later in the month.
All primary school kids are expected to spend some time in class before the summer holidays next month.
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