What does PISA 2015 tell us about deprivation and highly able children?

There’s long been interest in socio-economic inequalities in educational achievement in England. Typically, most research in this area focuses on differences in average scores. Less attention has been paid to young people at the extremes of the distribution – for instance, how achievement varies between the most able pupils from advantaged and disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. [...]

By | February 9th, 2017|Pupil demographics|

‘Schools that work for everyone’ consultation – Education Datalab response

Education Datalab has today submitted its response to the government’s Schools that work for everyone consultation. The green paper consulted on: the identification of those families who are ‘just about managing’; the contribution which independent schools can make to the state sector; conditions that should be met if existing selective schools are to be allowed [...]

By | December 12th, 2016|Pupil demographics, Reports, Structures|

Understanding grammar schools

Since the government’s announcement that it wants to see the return of more widespread selectivity to England’s education system we have written quite extensively about grammar schools and the impact of selectivity. In this post, however, we’re going to step back a little and offer a more descriptive overview of the existing network of selective [...]

By | December 1st, 2016|Admissions, Pupil demographics|

Apples to apples: are grammar schools really as effective as they seem?

This post was updated at 8.30 AM on 22 November. An earlier draft of the piece had originally been posted in error. What is the reasoning behind the government’s proposal for more selective schools: greater choice or better schools? Numerous studies have demonstrated that both have flawed foundations, including from the Education Policy Institute [PDF] and ourselves [PDF], [...]

Ethnic minority groups are great at passing the 11-plus

There are striking differences in the propensity of different ethnic groups to gain access to grammar schools. If we look at high achieving eleven-year-olds in the four fully selective local authorities of Kent, Medway, Buckinghamshire and Lincolnshire, just 29 per cent of the white British pupils who achieved a fine grade score of 5.0 on [...]

By | November 7th, 2016|Admissions, Pupil demographics|

When is a comprehensive school actually a secondary modern?

The National Association of Secondary Moderns might soon be growing its membership. By how much? It is hard to say, not least because not all non-grammar schools in selective areas choose to call themselves secondary moderns (just 117 do). Also, there are schools outside selective areas that are heavily affected by the presence of a [...]

By | November 2nd, 2016|Admissions, Pupil demographics|

Provisional KS4 data 2016: Grammar schools reporting fantastic Progress 8 scores? Not so fast…

Today’s provisional Key Stage 4 data shows a strong Progress 8 performance from grammar schools, and a negative Progress 8 score for those calling themselves secondary moderns. But the positive results of the grammars seem to more than outweigh the negative results of secondary moderns. So, should we use this data to claim that selection [...]

By | October 13th, 2016|Exams and assessment, School accountability, Structures|

How many poor children do we want to go to grammar school?

The question of who will get in lies at the heart of the debate about the new generation of grammar schools that the government has proposed. As we, and plenty of others, have pointed out, children eligible for free school meals (FSM) - a commonly-used proxy for disadvantage - are disproportionately unlikely to get into [...]

By | September 30th, 2016|Admissions, Pupil demographics|

Progress 8 is too favourable to grammar schools and understates secondary modern achievement

Progress 8 is the new measure by which secondary schools will be judged. It works by comparing each child’s achievement in eight subjects at GCSE with the average GCSE results for other children who got the same results in exams taken at age 11. The Department for Education designed it to incentivise schools to provide a [...]

By | September 16th, 2016|Admissions|