Bright disadvantaged pupils 'more than two years behind richer peers'
Research conducted by the Institute of Education has revealed a gap of two-and-a-half years between the brightest disadvantaged pupils and their better-off peers.
The research, conducted by the IoE's Dr John Jerrim and published in the journal Fiscal Studies, suggests that the most able English 15-year-olds from disadvantaged families are, on average, 2.5 years behind G&T pupils from wealthier backgrounds in reading. This conclusion was reached by analysing the reading scores of 9,548 English 15-year-olds who took part in the 2009 PISA study.
Dr Jerrim commented: 'Education policy over the last decade has focused considerable attention on improving the attainment of less able children from poor backgrounds, with some success. Now policymakers must turn their attention to reducing inequalities in educational achievement amongst the brightest children in society, to ensure that those from disadvantaged families are not left behind.'
More able pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are at risk of underachieving. Linda Evans explains how to spot the signs of underachievement.