Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Educating Rita and Ricky

Disadvantaged pupils are almost twice as likely to fail GCSE maths as their wealthier classmates, according to research that lays bare the attainment gap between rich and poor. The analysis shows students from poorer backgrounds in England lagging far behind their wealthier peers in key subjects at GCSE.

 Russell Hobby, the chief executive of the education charity Teach First, which carried out the research, said: A child’s postcode should never determine how well they do at school, yet today we’ve found huge disparities based on just that. Low attainment at GCSE is a real cause for concern as it can shut doors to future success and holds young people back from meeting their aspirations.”

Two in five pupils (38%) from the poorest one-third of postcodes fail GCSE maths, nearly twice as many as those from the richest third (20%), according to the analysis.

Children from deprived backgrounds are also less likely to be awarded top grades. Just 13% of the poorest pupils attain either a 7, 8 or 9 – the top three grades under the reformed GCSEs – in maths, compared with 26% of their more advantaged peers.

In English it is 11%, compared with 22% of wealthy students, and in French 15% of poorer pupils get top grades, compared with 27% of those from the most advantaged backgrounds.

In geography, 50% of disadvantaged children fail to get a level 4 – a standard pass – compared with 27% of the richest pupils.
As with maths, 38% of the poorest pupils fail to pass GCSE English, compared with 22% of the richest. Almost half (46%) of the poorest pupils fail history, compared with 27% of the wealthiest, while 16% of the poorest get the top grades, compared with 31% of the richest.

The findings, based on the government’s underlying key stage 4 results data for 2018, also show that 41% of young people from the poorest communities fail to pass French, compared with 26% of their wealthier peers.
Similarly, pupils from wealthier backgrounds are almost twice as likely to get top grades, with 27% of them getting either a 7,8 or 9, compared with 15% of the poorest.

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