New figures released today show the attainment gap between children and young people receiving free school meals and their peers has closed for the second year.
The statistics show a further increase in the proportion of learners eligible for free school meals achieving 5 good GCSEs including Mathematics and English or Welsh first language. This represents the best performance yet by our disadvantaged learners.
The data also show that performance for all learners is continuing to improve with attainment at its highest ever levels.
The Pupil Deprivation Grant, secured by the Welsh Liberal Democrats, has played a key role in supporting poorer pupils.
Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams said:
“These results recognise the efforts of pupils, teachers and parents in Wales and I praise their hard work in achieving a commendable set of results.
“I am pleased that the Pupil Deprivation Grant, also known as the Welsh Pupil Premium, is making a real difference to the lives of these children and that we are starting to break the link between poverty and attainment that has dogged our education system.
“While this is good news, there is still a lot more that we need to do. That is why I recently announced my intention to double the Early Years Pupil Deprivation Grant, concentrating extra resources on our youngest pupils.
“It remains our mission that every child deserves a fair start in life so that everyone will have the opportunity to succeed.”