In 2017/18, nearly 30% of school children in England were eligible for free school meals or ‘pupil premium’. Research published by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) in the summer of 2018 found that young people eligible for pupil premium in England were, on average, 18 months behind their peers in terms of academic attainment by the time they reached their GCSE’s. In some places, including the Isle of Wight, they were over 27 months behind.
In their report, the EPI recommend participation in adventure learning as a key strategy to counter this gap. They cite research that pupils who participated in these activities made four additional months’ academic progress over the course of a year compared to those who did not; they attributed this to the development of life skills which are positively linked to attainment, such as resilience and self-esteem. However, as outlined by the EPI, these activities are more likely to be accessed by more affluent children due to the costs attached, meaning disadvantaged pupils do not have the same opportunities to develop these life skills.
- £191 will fund a child for a 3 day residential trip
- £5,730 will help fund an entire class (30 children)
- £19,100 will fund 100 disadvantaged children