Our analysis highlights how family background shapes educational achievement and what policy can do to weaken the link

Who wants to go to university? How attainment affects aspirations (and aspirations affect attainment)

In the past few weeks both CentreForum (in conjunction with our very own Mike Treadaway) and the Social Market Foundation have published reports on education. Both reports discuss gaps in attainment between pupils from different family backgrounds, drawing attention to the importance of education for social mobility. Education is usually seen as an important factor in [...]

By | February 16th, 2016|Post-16 provision, Pupil demographics|

Every school contains a story of how educational inequalities emerge

At the launch of the Social Market Foundation’s Commission into Educational Inequalities a couple of weeks ago, the observation that regional inequalities had widened since the 1970s garnered a great deal of interest. The analysis released by the Commission was just a starting point and I, alongside the other Commissioners (Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, [...]

By | January 28th, 2016|Exams and assessment, Pupil demographics|

The quest to find ‘London Effect’ – why are some groups of pupils making more progress than they used to?

A lot has been written in the search for a credible explanation for the improvement in attainment in London’s schools since the turn of the century. It now seems that London’s schools have disproportionately benefited from improvements to the education system as a whole, with similar pupils and schools elsewhere in England improving by roughly [...]

By | December 17th, 2015|Pupil demographics|

It’s grim up north/The north will rise again: Some thoughts on Ofsted’s annual report

Ofsted today published its state of the nation annual report. Geographic inequalities in attainment featured prominently: “There are 16 local authority areas in England where less than 60% of the children attend good or outstanding secondary schools, have lower than national GCSE attainment and make less than national levels of expected progress. All but three [...]

By | December 1st, 2015|Pupil demographics|

Does ability-based selection have to increase inequalities in education?

The decision to allow a new grammar school to open in Kent drew a lot of media attention recently. With the exception of grammar schools, state schools in England are required to admit children irrespective of their ability. A number of developed countries do have school systems, however, which select children into different-ability schools at [...]

By | November 19th, 2015|Admissions, Pupil demographics|

Higher attaining disadvantaged pupils need help to keep up

The TES reported that Pupil Premium funding for higher attaining disadvantaged pupils may be redistributed in order to give extra support to lower attaining pupils. While such a move might be in the spirit of the Pupil Premium to reduce attainment gaps, data suggests that higher attaining disadvantaged pupils still need additional support to keep [...]

By | October 23rd, 2015|Pupil demographics|

So who will get to go to a grammar school if the Sevenoaks annexe opens?

The arguments for and against grammar schools are well rehearsed. Grammar schools provide a good education for those who get to attend - I think the best guess in the literature is that they experience gains in the order of 1 grade in 4 of their best 8 GCSE exams. This isn’t a huge impact, [...]

By | October 15th, 2015|Admissions, Pupil demographics|

Can Chinese Teachers Improve our Maths?

I recently watched the recent BBC series 'Are Our Kids Tough Enough: Chinese School' which followed the experiences of five maths teachers from China as they started teaching in a school in Southampton. I anticipated that I might learn something that might explain the very high levels of attainment of students from China in international [...]

By | September 15th, 2015|Pupil demographics, Teacher careers|

Missing Talent: Raising the aspirations and achievement of the 7,000 highly able pupils who fall behind at secondary school

Every year there are high achievers at primary school, pupils scoring in the top 10% nationally in their Key Stage 2 (KS2) tests, yet who five years later receive a set of GCSE results that place them outside the top 25% of pupils. There are about 7,000 such pupils each year, 15% of all those [...]

By | June 15th, 2015|Pupil demographics, Reports|