Today the DCSF announced the release of small area, National Curriculum Assessment GCSE and Equivalent Attainment and Post 16 Attainment by Pupil Characteristics in England, 2008. This means that you can use the National Statistics’ neighbourhood statistics service to examine educational attainment for local geographic areas. The statistics reveal patterns of attainment – for example a relationship between gender and attainment. However by looking at this data for small areas (areas smaller than local authority areas) it is possible to see that differences between genders is not the same in all areas of England. In some areas the gender gap is widening while in other areas in is narrowing.
These figures provide useful evidence for differences in educational attainment which are aligned with existing inequalities in society. The DCSF reports that more data will be added soon, to include Free School Meal eligibility and pupil ethnicity. Accompanying the release of the data is the following Map of Key Stage 2 Average Point Score by Local Authority District of school location, 2008. This shows that the average point score of a pupil differs according to the area in which the pupil’s school is located. Again it is interesting to consider how these differences are related to the social characteristics of these areas.