In the UK, the strongest predictor of how a child will do at school is still what their parents do for a living. A student from a low-income background is more likely to start school behind their peers academically, and is therefore at risk of leaving school with fewer chances in life.

  • 52% of Ark secondary students are disadvantaged (i.e. they have been eligible for free school meals, a measure of economic deprivation). This is nearly double the national average of 27%
  • Students going to Ark secondaries are less likely to have achieved the expected standard at primary school, so they enter school behind their peers
  • 40% of Ark students speak English as an additional language, more than double the national average

Despite this, our schools are achieving strong results, especially for the progress that students make. For example, the proportion of our disadvantaged students passing English & maths GCSEs (59%) is over a third higher than the national average (43%).