Poorer white pupils underperform in later academic choices – study

‘ Students from white British backgrounds are often holding themselves back by making poor educational choices, with many shutting themselves out of better careers as a result, according to a study for the government’s social mobility watchdog. Researchers found that as much as half of the gap in admissions to highly selective Russell Group universities between children on free school meals (FSM) and their better-off peers could be a result of factors beyond academic ability. The analysis published by the Social Mobility Commission, headed by former Labour minister Alan Milburn,…

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Primary schools accused of ‘social segregation’ by rejecting poorer pupils in favour of children from richer homes

Places at church schools are highly competitive Getty Primary schools in England have been accused of “social segregation” after a report showed more than 1,500 schools were turning away disadvantaged pupils in favour of children from higher-income families. A report from the Sutton Trust found some of the most popular primary schools – particularly faith schools – had complicated oversubscription criteria that actively discouraged parents of poorer children and allowed the schools to be selective about which pupils were granted a place. The findings have raised concerns about a lack of equity in access to primary…

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Private school gives pupils a boost worth two extra years of education, research shows

The Durham University study suggests that the attainment gap is larger than previously thought Independent school fees average around £12,000 a year for day pupils and £30,000 for boarders. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images Independently-educated pupils receive a boost equivalent to two years of extra schooling over state school pupils even after adjusting for social and economic bias, according to new research. The study by Durham University – the most sophisticated of its type to date – found that independent school pupils in England gained an advantage worth nearly two-thirds of…

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Teaching assistants improve pupils’ results, studies show

Research says students make additional two to four months’ progress when small groups get structured help from assistants Teaching assistants have traditionally been used in classrooms to support low-attaining pupils. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian Teaching assistants, whose contribution to learning has been called into question in recent years, have been shown to improve pupils’ attainment, two studies show. Schools spend £4bn a year – or 10% of the total education budget – on 24,000 TAs, but some headteachers have cut back on numbers after previous research raised doubts…

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Private school pupils ‘receive equivalent of two years’ extra education’

Children who attend private schools benefit from the equivalent of two years’ extra education by the time they are 16, research suggests. Academics from Durham University analysed differences in attainment between state and private school pupils, taking their prior attainment, family background and gender into account. Private pupils were ahead of their state school counterparts at ages four, eight, 10 and 16, the study found. The research, commissioned by the Independent Schools Council, found that private schooling boosts teenagers’ GCSEs by almost two-thirds of a grade per subject. The biggest…

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