The Independent is reporting new analysis that suggests disadvantaged children do particularly badly in large schools.
The gap in performance between poorer pupils and their better off peers – in terms of those obtaining five A* to C grades including maths and English – is 26.1 percentage points at the country’s biggest 300 schools. This compares to just 20.3 percentage points at the 300 smallest.
The findings come as local authorities are planning new “super-sized” titan secondary schools in a bid to cope with an increase in the number of pupils over the next few years. At least 17 local councils are planning new schools with between 12 and 16 classes in each year group as councils attempt to provide more than 80,000 secondary school places over the next four years…
Analysis by New Schools Network, the charity which supports free schools, shows 42,000 of the 79,000 places created in existing schools have occurred in schools where GCSE results have declined in recent years.
“Many existing schools are expecting to address a huge growth in demand for places,” said Nick Timothy, director of the New Schools Network.
He said the research showed that the expansion “can be bad for the poorest and most vulnerable students. New and smaller free schools are “best placed” to meet the challenges of rising demand for places and improved education standards, he argued…
Clearly the New Schools Network wants to promote more new free schools – rather than larger existing local authority ones – but do you accept the claim that disadvantaged students are likely to be least well served in large schools?
It is not clear from this article exactly what the source of this analysis is, or whether other factors may be at play.
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