Level 3 attainment gap between Free School Meals and non-Free School Meals students at 19 years-of-age (2004/05-2021/22)
The attainment gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students is lower in Inner London than in Outer London and lower in Outer London than it is in the rest of England.
In Inner London in 2021/22, 19 year olds who were eligible for Free School Meals at the end of Key Stage 4 were 12.4 percentage points less likely to have gained Level 3 qualifications (equivalent to A levels) than their peers who were not eligible for Free School Meals. In Outer London the figure was 19.5 percentage points and in the rest of England it was 28.1 percentage points.
Looking over the past decade, the attainment gap has remained fairly consistent, with Inner London always having a smaller gap than Outer London or the rest of England. Based on this data alone, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negligible impact on the attainment gap.
Although a majority of boroughs have seen the attainment gap narrow over the last 5 years, in some boroughs there has been significant widening of the gap. Since 2016/17, Islington has had by far the largest increase in the attainment gap (12.7 percentage points), followed by Greenwich (5.4) and Southwark (5.2).