'Championing the rights of children'

UK schools: poor pupils 'lagging a year behind'

Garry Tue 03 Dec 2013 12:04

Figures published by the OECD show that social class has a major impact on pupils' performance, with the poorest children falling a year behind the wealthiest at secondary school.

Schoolchildren from working-class families are lagging a year behind their wealthier classmates by the age of 15, according to international research.

A major study published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that the gap in exam results between rich and poor pupils was wider in Britain than in most other developed nations.

It also emerged that UK pupils from deprived backgrounds were less likely to “beat the socio-economic odds” against them and exceed expectations than elsewhere in the world.

In all, fewer than a quarter of disadvantaged students do well in maths exams in the UK compared with more than half in some parts of the Far East, including Hong Kong, South Korea, Shanghai and Vietnam, it emerged.

The conclusions – in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment study – come amid continuing concerns over the link between social class and educational achievement.

Read more... (Daily Telegraph - 3 December)