‘Bright but poor’ pupils years behind better-off peers

Feb 9, 2017 by

Research suggests large gaps in educational achievement between the brightest students from poor and more wealthy backgrounds

“Bright but poor” children in Britain are lagging years behind their better-off peers in educational achievement, a report has found, despite producing world-leading performances in certain subjects.

An analysis of the OECD’s programme for international student assessment (Pisa) found that pupils in the top 10% for attainment but bottom 10% by income – classed as “bright but poor” – in England did better than those in most other countries in science tests.

But it found that girls in this category trailed their bright and well-off female peers by the equivalent of three school years in science. That was eight months worse than the gap between well-off and bright but poor boys. For reading there was a similar gap of three years for the girls, some nine months worse than between boys.

“While England’s brightest pupils score around average in international tests – and better in science – this analysis shows that there are some very big socio-economic gaps in attainment between the brightest pupils from poor and better-off homes,” said John Jerrim of the UCL Institute of Education, which carried out the analysis for the Sutton Trust.

Jerrim’s review of results from last year’s Pisa study also found a wide spread of results in different parts of the UK, which he described as showing “very big challenges” in Scotland and Wales.

Source: ‘Bright but poor’ pupils years behind better-off peers, study claims | Education | The Guardian

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