01 02 03 Institute for Effective Education, University of York: Talented poor pupils missing out on GCSE success 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Talented poor pupils missing out on GCSE success

A new research brief from the Sutton Trust has shown that talented pupils from poor backgrounds are falling short of their potential at GCSE, achieving on average half a grade less than other highly able pupils.
The authors looked at pupils’ performance in Key Stage 2 (KS2) tests at age 11, and then at their GCSE attainment. They found that 15% of “highly able” pupils, that is those who score in the top 10% nationally at KS2, fail to achieve in the top 25% at GCSE.
The two factors that appear to make the most difference in this achievement are FSM6 status (those who are eligible for the Pupil Premium because they have received free school meals in any of the previous six years) and gender. Highly able boys are almost twice as likely to fall off track as girls, and for both boys and girls FSM6 status more than doubles the risk of falling into the missing talent group. One in ten of the poor but clever pupils are barely achieving C grades.
The report also found differences in the subjects taken. Highly able FSM6 pupils are less likely to be taking history or geography (included in the English Baccalaureate measure), and only 53% take triple sciences, compared to 69% of those not in the FSM6 category. This may be because they attend one of the 20% of schools that does not offer the triple science curriculum.
Recommendations include:
Source: Missing Talent (2015), The Sutton Trust.

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