The Need for Academic Support in Bury

Blog
Mar 6, 2023
The Need for Academic Support in Bury

Everyone needs education in some form. In Bury, Greater Manchester, school performance and academic attainment play a vital role in shaping the future prospects of young people. 

However, academic achievement is not always equally accessible to all students, as factors such as socio-economic status and demographic characteristics can significantly impact academic outcomes. 

In this article, we will explore the relevance of free school meals and student demographics in academic achievement in Bury. We will also examine the issue of affordable tuition for academic support and its potential implications for students' academic performance. 

Through this discussion, we hope to shed light on the challenges facing students in Bury and offer insights into potential solutions to improve academic outcomes for all.

School Performance and Academic Attainment in Bury

According to data from the Department for Education, schools in Bury, Greater Manchester have shown a steady improvement in academic attainment over the years. In 2022, 63% of students in Bury achieved grade 4 or above in both English and Maths GCSEs, which is above the national average of 59%.

However, there are significant disparities in academic achievement among different student groups in Bury. For instance, students from disadvantaged backgrounds, as indicated by eligibility for free school meals, have consistently lower academic outcomes than their peers. 

In 2019, only 39% of disadvantaged students in Bury achieved grade 4 or above in both English and Maths GCSEs, compared to 70% of non-disadvantaged students.

Other factors that can impact academic achievement in Bury include demographic characteristics such as ethnicity and language proficiency. For example, students whose first language is not English or who come from ethnic minority backgrounds may face additional challenges in accessing the curriculum and achieving good grades.

In addition, the quality of teaching and learning, the availability of academic resources and support, and the level of parental involvement can all play a role in determining academic outcomes in Bury schools. Efforts to address these factors and ensure equal opportunities for all students can be crucial in improving academic attainment in the area.

Free School Meals and Student Demographics in Bury

Free school meals are a form of support provided to students from low-income households, allowing them to receive a free meal during school hours. 

Research has consistently shown that free school meal eligibility is a significant predictor of academic attainment, with disadvantaged students generally achieving lower academic outcomes than their peers.

In Bury, Greater Manchester, a significant proportion of students are eligible for free school meals and this has increased significantly in the past year. Data from the Department of Education shows that by the end of the 2020-21 school year, 57% of Bury's children in need were eligible for free school meals, an increase from 47% at the same point in 2016-17. These numbers will of course be affected by the covid-19 pandemic and the number of families that are struggling more due to the cost of living crisis.

The relationship between student demographic characteristics and academic achievement in Bury is complex, with free school meal eligibility being only one factor among many. There is some data to show that being eligible for these meals has a relationship with academic attainment. It was found that in 2020 the average GCSE grade gap between pupils trapped in long-term poverty - those eligible for free school meals for 80% of their schooling or more - and their peers was 1.6 grades. There is clearly a link between these two factors. 

It is important to note too that being eligible from these meals is not the only factor influencing academic outcomes in Bury, and efforts to improve academic attainment must take into account the wider context of demographic and social factors that may impact student achievement. However, the provision of free school meals can play an important role in ensuring that all students have access to the nutrition necessary for academic success, regardless of their socioeconomic background.

Disadvantaged Communities and Academic Support in Bury

Bury, like many areas in North West England, has its share of disadvantaged communities facing a range of social and economic challenges. These communities often struggle to access resources and opportunities that are readily available to others. 

Language barriers, cultural differences, and discrimination can all impact academic attainment and performance. A study in 2020 showed that 49% of young black people said that racism is the biggest barrier for them achieving success at school. 

graph showing percentage of ethnic groups in Bury
Bar graph shows ethnic demographics of Bury, Greater Manchester [Data source]

The education system can be particularly challenging, with many children from low-income families struggling to receive adequate academic support. Currently, there are a number of programs and initiatives in place to provide support to these students, including tutoring, mentoring, and after-school programs. 

However, there is still a need for more affordable tuition options to ensure that all students have access to high-quality education. By making education more affordable and accessible, we can help level the playing field for students from disadvantaged communities in Bury.

Affordable Tuition for Academic Support in Bury

Affordable tuition can provide a range of benefits to disadvantaged communities in Bury. By reducing the financial burden of education, it can help ensure that all students have access to high-quality academic support, regardless of their socioeconomic background. This can help level the playing field and provide a pathway to success for students who may not otherwise have had the opportunity to pursue higher education. 

Additionally, affordable tuition can help reduce the stress and financial strain that many families face, allowing them to focus on other important areas of their lives.

student looking up at his tutor whilst completing a worksheet
Students work together to complete homework

However, providing affordable tuition for academic support in Bury can be challenging. One of the biggest challenges is funding. In order to provide affordable tuition, there needs to be sufficient funding available to cover the costs of these programs. 

This can be difficult in areas with limited resources, such as Bury. Additionally, there may be logistical challenges, such as finding suitable locations for tutoring or ensuring that there are enough qualified tutors available to provide support to all students in need. Despite these challenges, there are many organisations and initiatives working to provide affordable tuition and academic support to disadvantaged communities in Bury, and their efforts are making a positive impact on the lives of students and families in the area.

Learning Cubs Academic Support

At Learning Cubs, we are proud to provide affordable after-school and weekend tuition sessions in Blackburn. 

Our mission is to support students from all backgrounds and ensure that they have access to high-quality education through tuition in core subjects such as English, maths, and science, as well as support for exam preparation and revision.

One of the things that sets us apart is our commitment to providing our services FREE of charge or at very little cost to parents. 

We understand that not all families can afford private tutoring or other costly educational services, and we believe that access to high-quality education should be a right, not a privilege. 

Learning Cubs Bury contact details
Learning Cubs Bury contact details

By making our services affordable and accessible, we are helping to level the playing field and ensure that all students have the support they need to succeed.

We are proud to be part of a wider network of organisations and initiatives that are working to improve education in Blackburn and the surrounding Lancashire region. 

Together, we are helping to bridge the gap between students from different socioeconomic backgrounds and ensure that all students have access to the education they deserve.

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Resources

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