The Independent is reporting research that suggests children who attend private schools benefit from the equivalent of two years’ extra education by the time they are 16.
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 differences at GCSE were found in French, history and geography. The smallest gaps were in chemistry, physics and biology. The difference of 0.64 GCSE grades equates to a gain of about two years’ normal progress, the researchers claim.
Researchers concluded that if private schools were measured on Pisa (Programme for International Student Assessment) outcomes they would outperform the best European countries and be level with Japan and South Korea…
Read or download the report in full:16_02_26-cem-durham-university-academic-value-added-research
The researchers suggest that, even accounting as best they can for prior ability and socio-economic factors, similar students achieve more in independent schools that state schools.
There’s surely no real surprise there – not least because of the extra resources available (and the research was commissioned by the Independent Schools Council) but are you taken back by the apparent scale of the differences claimed?
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