Father’s education level strongest factor in child’s success at school

Sep 24, 2014 by

Children seven and a half times less likely to succeed if father failed to achieve, with mother’s education a lesser factor

A father’s level of education is the strongest factor determining a child’s future success at school, creating a self-reinforcing cycle of poverty and lack of achievement passed down from parents to children in Britain, according to research.

The report from the Office for National Statistics claims that children are seven and a half times less likely to be successful at school if their father failed to achieve, compared with children with highly educated fathers.

A mother’s education level was important to a lesser degree, with a child approximately three times as likely to have a low educational outcome if their mother had a low level of education.

The ONS research found that low levels of education are the most significant reason for the persistence of poverty in the UK, with those with a low level of educational attainment being almost five times as likely to be in poverty as those with a high level of education.

Helen Barnard, policy and research manager at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said there was little evidence that the cycle of poverty and educational outcomes was caused by low aspirations among poor families.

“But there is evidence that children and parents from poorer backgrounds develop lower expectations as children grow older – they stop believing that their children will be able to achieve high ambitions, or do not know how to help them do so,” Barnard said.

Previous studies have observed the link between parent-child levels of education success, but the size of the father’s attainment level on a child’s education is more marked than most earlier research.

via Father’s education level strongest factor in child’s success at school – study | Society | The Guardian.

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