Gap closing but children from poor families ‘still at disadvantage’

The BBC is reporting research suggesting that children from poor backgrounds must do even better in key academic subjects to get on in life…

Standards are rising, but the chances of poor pupils becoming high achievers has remained low, the Institute of Education academics have found.

In particular youngsters needed more guidance about requirements of elite universities and firms, the study said.

The academics believed it was “a good sign” the relative attainment gap among 11-year-olds was closing.

Standards had improved for families from deprived backgrounds faster than for the most affluent, they said.

But they also found deprived pupils were still not achieving qualifications letting them compete at the top level of the employment market, and gaps remained at every age level.

The researchers from the Institute of Education and the University of Surrey analysed major national collections of information on the attainment of children born between 1958 and 2000…

One of the report’s authors, Lindsey MacMillan, said she would like to see “more consistent guidance about what elite universities and employers are looking for”.

In particular, she felt children from poorer backgrounds needed to know that high achievement in English, maths, sciences – and also history and modern languages – would be more beneficial to their future life chances than good grades in other subjects…

More at: Pupils from poor families ‘still at disadvantage’

Do you agree with the researchers that it is a lack in information about what universities and employers are looking for that is holding some some disadvantaged children back?  Can this result in poor decision making and do you think today’s news of the increase in the numbers of students taking English Baccalaureate subjects will help make an impact? Please give us your thoughts in the comments or via Twitter…

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Categories: Employment and Secondary.


  1. NetRespect

    SchoolsImprove if we tell a child often enough they’ll believe it. Telling them they’re “disadvantaged” may impose that barrier.?

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