Bright pupils from poor backgrounds lag two years behind rich
Published: 29th Jun 2012 14:04:27
Bright 15-year-olds from the poorest homes are lagging more than two years behind their richer peers, a study suggests.
Dr John Jerrim of the Institute of Education analysed reading results of able teenagers in 23 countries.
His findings suggest the gap between bright rich and poor children in England and Scotland is twice that of most other countries.
He called for action to help clever children from poor homes succeed.
Analysis of international reading skills statistics from 2009 showed the gap between the highest scoring rich and poor students was two-and-a-half years in England and two-and-three-quarter years in Scotland.
These gaps are more than twice as wide as in Germany, Finland and Iceland where the richest are ahead by about a year.
Overall, England and Scotland had bigger skills gaps than 19 and 22 other nations respectively.
The biggest gaps were in New Zealand and the United States.
Dr Jerrim used data from the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study, which is taken by 15-year-olds in developed countries every three years.
Writing in a special edition of the journal Fiscal Studies, Dr Jerrim said socio-economic inequalities in educational achievement may have declined in England and Scotland over the past decade but they were still higher than in many other countries.
Dr Jerrim said he had essentially been comparing the reading scores of the children of labourers and those of lawyers and doctors and argued that it was vital to narrow the gap.
"Education policy over the last decade has focused considerable attention on improving the attainment of less able children from poor backgrounds with some success.
"Now policy makers must turn their attention to reducing inequalities in educational achievement amongst the brightest children in society, to ensure that those from disadvantaged families are not left behind," Dr Jerrim said.
He added that the findings had important implications for policies to widen access to elite universities and the professions.
And he argued that the current focus on bursaries and internships did not go far enough.
The report suggests that it is important to identify high-potential children from poor backgrounds as early as possible and to ensure they receive sustained support throughout their school careers.
It also notes that schemes to raise academically able pupils' aspirations during secondary school may be the key to raising their later attainment.
A spokeswoman from England's Department for Education commented: "For too long, children from the poorest backgrounds have been left with the worst schools.
"That's why we have introduced the pupil premium to ensure schools are able to offer extra support to the poorest children.
"We are also transforming the worst performing schools, including primaries for the first time, with new leadership as academies and we have introduced systematic phonics to every school so that every child gets the best possible start in learning to read and write."
At 12:58:39 in EnglandA poem about the killing of PC Keith Blakelock during riots in north London was written by the man accused of his murder, a court has heard.
At 12:58:21 in SportKent have announced a pre-interest and pre-tax profit of £156,778 for the financial year to November 2013.
At 12:56:04 in ScotlandA hamster has been found abandoned inside a plastic play tube in Edinburgh.
At 12:55:09 in BusinessThe sometimes fraught relationship between leaseholders and their freeholders is going to be investigated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
At 12:54:04 in HeadlinesIndia's Supreme Court has ordered the continuing detention of businessman Subrata Roy and asked his firm to come up with a plan to repay its investors.
At 12:53:21 in SportCrystal Palace winger Jason Puncheon has been fined £15,000 by the Football Association and warned about his future conduct for Twitter comments he made in relation to former boss Neil Warnock.
At 12:52:43 in HeadlinesA second witness at the murder trial of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has told a court in the capital Pretoria she was awoken by the sounds of a fight early on 14 February 2013.
At 12:42:01 in PoliticsThere is a risk that "deliberate provocation" could give rise to a dangerous incident in Ukraine, Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned.
At 12:41:48 in EnglandA residential treatment programme for addicts which closed in Yeovil is to reopen after the charity running it merged with another organisation.
At 12:40:03 in ScotlandPolice Scotland has exceeded its target to recruit 1,000 additional officers.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Bright pupils from poor backgrounds lag two years behind rich [Online] (Updated 29th Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1437715/Bright-pupils-from-poor-backgrounds-lag-two-years-behind-rich [Accessed 8th Mar 2014]
News In Other Categories
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
There is a risk that "deliberate provocation" could give rise to a dangerous incident in Ukraine, Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned.
The law needs to be changed to stop ticket touts overcharging fans ahead of the Rugby World Cup, an MP has said.
A man in his 40s has been injured during what is believed to have been an attempted armed robbery in County Down.
The sometimes fraught relationship between leaseholders and their freeholders is going to be investigated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
Fawlty Towers star Prunella Scales has "a sort of mild Alzheimer's", her husband Tim West has revealed in the Radio Times.