Rich bright children ‘do better than poorer ones’
Bright children from poor homes are more than two years behind their clever classmates from rich families, according to a new study.
It found that the gap in achievement between the very richest and the very poorest high-performers is twice as big in Scotland and England than in other countries such as Iceland, Finland and Germany.
The findings show that more must be done to help boost the results of the brightest children from disadvantaged backgrounds, report author Dr John Jerrim, of the Institute of Education, said.
He analysed the reading results of 9,548 English 15-year-olds and 2,631 Scottish students of the same age who took part in the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) study and looked at the scores of the top 10 per cent of rich able pupils compared with the top 10 per cent of poor able pupils.
The results show that on average, poor clever children in Scotland are 2.75 years behind their richest high-achieving peers, while in England the gap is 2.5 years.
This is twice as big as in Iceland, Germany and Finland, where there is a gap of around a year, the study found.
Overall, England had a bigger attainment gap than 19 other countries, while Scotland’s gap was larger than 22 countries, putting it at the bottom of the table.
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