A recent report conducted by the government's "social mobility" tsar announced that approximately 60,000 students across the UK are being failed by their schooling. It revealed a "massive attainment gap" between states schools that are achieving top performance levels, and those left at the bottom. If even just some of those schools did even half as well as the top performing schools, the report estimates that as much as 14,000 students from difficult backgrounds would attain at least 5 good GCSE's. Former Health Secretary, Alan Milburn, voiced his concern that: "this research has unearthed a new and shocking gap in performance between similar schools serving similar communities with similar intakes of poorer pupils."
The report demonstrated that there appears to be a link between those pupils who are not performing well at school and students who come from having a difficult home life. Milburn believes this to be consequential of teachers effectively not trying as hard with those students, and essentially allowing them to fail. In a survey conducted as a part of the report, it showed that several teachers believe the moral among the staff is low with regard to encouraging continually failing pupils. Reportedly, 1 in 5 teachers said their colleagues admittedly had lower expectations for students from poorer backgrounds. Milburn stated that, "Social mobility in Britain is low and is stalling - nowhere has this been more apparent than in education," and he believes that if some state schools can produce high achievers, there seems to be no excuse for others not to because these "schools are proving that deprivation needn't be destiny."