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

The UKIP voters of tomorrow – Part II

A blog I wrote last week, on the “UKIP voters of tomorrow”, was very popular. In it, I explored the relationship between UKIP vote share in the 2015 General Election and constituency average GCSE performance between 2011 and 2014. There seemed to be a negative relationship between the two measures – constituencies with higher UKIP [...]

By | June 4th, 2015|Pupil demographics|

A comprehensive schooling system must ensure that all children are able to reach their full potential, even those who are already performing well

Today the Sutton Trust has published Missing Talent, a research brief we wrote on the 7,000 pupils who score in the top 10% nationally in their KS2 tests, yet who five years later receive a set of GCSE results that places them outside the top 25%. The findings show that boys, particularly those from disadvantaged [...]

By | June 3rd, 2015|Exams and assessment, Pupil demographics, Reports|

Liz Kendall is (almost) right There are enormous differences in children’s school starting points by parliamentary constituency

When MPs quote education statistics, I’m always curious where they got them from and whether they are accurate. Last week, Labour leadership contender Liz Kendall made a speech in Leicester where she mentioned that in Leicester West, ‘children start school on average 15 months behind where they should be in terms of their development’. We [...]

By | May 31st, 2015|Pupil demographics|

Does the likelihood of experiencing poverty change as pupils get older?

Eligibility for free school meals (FSM) has traditionally been used in education research as a proxy for poverty. It has its limitations of course: not all those who may be eligible choose to claim for a variety of reasons. Nonetheless, differences in attainment between those known to be eligible and other pupils are stark. As [...]

By | May 5th, 2015|Pupil demographics|

The pupil premium group in coastal schools is their rate of progress really any different to schools with similar intakes

With attainment in London, Greater Manchester and the Black Country, the focus of City Challenge initiatives, apparently no longer giving cause for concern, the spotlight has shifted to coastal towns and rural areas. The 2014 report of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools, for example, drew attention to the problems faced by schools in such areas in recruiting teachers. [...]

By | April 27th, 2015|Pupil demographics|

Ready to Read: Closing the gap in early language skills so that every child in England can read well

We created the data analysis for the Save the Children report 'Ready to Read'. Being able to read well is vital for a child's prospects at school and in life. Yet every year, almost 148,000 children leave primary school in England unable to read well. This includes one third of all children growing up in [...]

By | April 17th, 2015|Pupil demographics, Reports|

Using Pier-effects to evaluate free schools

Note - this piece was first published on April Fool's Day 2015! The establishment of free schools by the current government aimed to meet a demand for new school places in particular areas and to raise the performance of all schools through increased competition. For researchers, trying to show whether the establishment of a free [...]

By | April 1st, 2015|Pupil demographics|

Pupil premium isn’t working… or is it?

When national results at Key Stage 4 were published last November phrases like "the gap between rich and poor widens" typified headlines in the national press. This was because the gap between the attainment of disadvantaged (often called Pupil Premium) pupils and others in the headline measure of 5A*-C including English and maths had increased [...]

By | March 13th, 2015|Exams and assessment, Pupil demographics|

The return of the London effect

A couple of weekends ago I attended the London Festival of Education. The “London Effect” in secondary schools, a topic on which I have blogged previously, was much discussed. One of the important contributions to the debate, cited by a number of presenters at the festival, was made last year by Simon Burgess from Bristol [...]

By | March 8th, 2015|Exams and assessment, Pupil demographics|