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

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 | 2017-10-23T13:17:24+00:00 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 | 2017-03-03T09:48:04+00:00 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 | 2017-10-23T13:17:08+00:00 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 | 2017-03-03T09:47:41+00:00 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 | 2017-03-03T09:45:58+00:00 June 15th, 2015|Pupil demographics, Reports|

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 | 2017-03-03T09:45:40+00:00 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 | 2017-03-03T09:45:33+00:00 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 | 2017-03-03T09:45:28+00:00 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 | 2017-03-03T09:45:05+00:00 May 5th, 2015|Pupil demographics|