‘In England, the proportion of children reaching a good level of development at age five has increased, but the attainment gap has remained fairly constant at 20 percentage points. The attainment gap remains fairly constant through primary school, meaning that the difference in attainment between those from richer and poorer backgrounds remains around 20 percentage points at age 11. This gap widens through secondary school, to around 28 percentage points by age 16 and 25 percentage points at age 19.
In Scotland, children aged five living in the most deprived areas were 16 percentage points less likely to reach the expected standard in reading, and 14 percentage points less likely in numeracy than those living in the least deprived areas. By age 11, these gaps increased to more than 20 percentage points. They remained at this level in the results of school leavers (age 16), having fallen from 33 percentage points in 2009/10.’ (P87)
I’ve taken out the Wales and N Ireland figures from the above long paragraph, to simplify the reading of this. It would have been better in a table but, what is clear, first, is that the attainment gap is only the same for 11-year-olds (difficult early adolescent boys) in both countries at 20% but the gap for 5-year-olds is only 16% in Scotland compared to 20% in England and for 16-year-olds the gap in Scotland is only 20% compared to 28% in England. Second, note the massive fall in the gap from 33% to 20% in the period of SNP Government.