Poorer pupils lag by almost two years
Poorer pupils in disadvantaged "opportunity areas", designated for extra help by the government, are lagging almost two years behind better off counterparts elsewhere in England.
A study for the Ambition School Leadership charity found deprived youngsters in these six areas were 20.1 months behind at GCSE level.
Schools minister Nick Gibb said it showed the importance of targeting support at areas that were "the most challenged when it comes to social mobility".
There have been six opportunity areas named by the government so far - Norwich, Blackpool, Derby, Oldham, Scarborough and West Somerset - with the promise of more to follow.
There will be £60m of extra spending to promote social mobility in these areas, such as linking schools to businesses, universities and careers advisers.