Subject to background: what promotes better achievement for bright but disadvantaged students?

Document type
Report
Author(s)
Sammons, Pam; Toth, Katalin; Sylva, Kathy
Publisher
Sutton Trust
Date of publication
17 March 2015
Subject(s)
Education and Skills
Collection
Social welfare
Material type
Reports

Download (1.3MB )

This report outlines the pattern of academic attainment of a group of ‘bright’ but socio-economically disadvantaged children from pre-school until their A-levels at the end of Key Stage 5, drawn from a sample of over 3,000 children who were tracked since the age of three. It compares their attainment in public examinations in secondary school or college to that of other ‘bright’ but less disadvantaged students. The findings reveal that bright but disadvantaged children are considerably less likely to take the subjects most likely to get them into good universities than their more advantaged peers.

Bright but disadvantaged students obtained statistically significant better GCSE results when they engaged in average or better out of school academic enrichment through activities such as educational outings or reading at home. They were significantly more likely to go on to get four or more AS-levels when they had attended any pre-school, especially one of higher quality (rather than no pre-school) and where they had competent teachers and engaged in academic enrichment activities at home, such as reading or learning opportunities including family visits to museums and galleries, between the ages of 11 and 14. They were also significantly more likely to go on to attain three or more A-levels when they attended a secondary school rated outstanding by Ofsted for the quality of its pupils’ learning and where they experienced average or good levels of academic enrichment at home.

Related to Education and Skills

Preschool quality and child development

Working paper on child development in Columbian preschools

2019 annual report on education spending in England

Report on education spending in England

What motivates adults to learn: a rapid evidence review of what drives learning new skills in the workplace

Report on factors influencing adult workers' motivation to learn for work

Cabinet analysis 2019

A briefing analysing the educational background of ministers in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's cabinet, summer 2019.

More items related to this subject