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18 May 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Keeping schools closed will mean poorest children fall further behind, study finds

By Samuel Horti

Keeping schools closed will widen educational inequality between children from the richest and poorest families, a study from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has suggested.

By the end of May, children in wealthier families will have studied for around seven days more than children from the poorest households since schools closed, according to an IFS survey of more than 4,000 families in England.

Children in families with the highest incomes spend six hours a day on education, but the poorest spend four and a half, the survey found.

The government wants primary schools to reopen on 1 June. Yesterday, Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove urged local authorities that have questioned the plan to “think again”.

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“If you really care about children, you’ll want them to be in schools. You will want them to be learning. You will want them to have new opportunities. So look to your responsibilities,” he told the BBC.

(Image credit: Chris J Ratcliffe / Stringer)