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Gaping chasm between rich and poor pupils passing GCSEs shows kids MUST go back to school

THE gaping chasm between rich and poor pupils passing key GCSEs shows exactly why children MUST go back to school come September — and stay there throughout the academic year.

A devastating report from experts at charity Teach First reveals that in 2019 — before the pandemic hit — just 45 per cent of disadvantaged kids passed their maths and English GCSEs compared to 72 per cent of their richer classmates.

Even more worryingly, the report shows NO progress was made in closing the attainment gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils in the three years between 2016 and 2019.

And unfortunately, thanks to the grim year we’ve had, that gap now looks set to widen.

Rich families with easy access to online learning resources took the transition from school to “home learning” in their stride, while in poorer households — where laptops aren’t two a penny — both children and parents had a tough time making it work.

Boris Johnson once stood on the steps of Downing Street and vowed to “unleash Britain’s potential” by “levelling up across the country”.

To follow through on that promise, he and his ministers must stand up to the bullying unions and insist that ALL our children get the education they deserve this year.

As mum-of-two Molly Kingsley puts it on Page Nine: “We can’t undo what has happened. But we can do everything possible to ensure our kids never miss a lesson again.”

THE Chinese government’s horrific treatment of Hong Kongers and Uighur Muslims violates every human rights law in the book.

So we’re pleased that British ministers and royals are plotting to snub the rogue state by boycotting the 2022 Winter Olympics.

We know it’s just a gesture. But it’s an important one. When Britain refused to send dignitaries to Russia for the 2018 World Cup, it galvanised our allies to stand up to Putin’s bullying.

Two years on, the world is finally waking up to the menace that is China.

And we’re proud that once again, Britain is leading the way.

NEWS that deaths involving Covid have dropped to a level not seen since March is cause for cautious celebration.

It’s proof that we really are over the worst of the virus — and that it’s safe for Brits to come out of hibernation.

At the height of the pandemic, we rightly stayed at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

Now, it’s our civic duty to protect the economy and save livelihoods by going back to work, to school and to the shops.

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