Bright boys from poor backgrounds underachieving at GCSE

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Research by the Sutton Trust education charity has revealed that bright boys from poor backgrounds are under-performing at GCSE level due to a lack of supportat school.

The research, reported recently by the BBC, looked at 7000 children who performed well at SATs during primary school, but didn't go on to achieve reasonable GCSE scores. In particular, boys were almost twice as likely as girls to fall off track and being from a poor background more than doubles that risk, says the report.

The research concludes that 36% of highly able boys who are eligible for the pupil premium fail to achieve a good set of GCSEs.

As a result, almost 25% will not take a language at GCSE and are less likely to take history or geography.
Only 53% will take triple sciences, compared with 69% of their better-off classmates.

Where pupils live will also affect their achievement, according to the report.

Dr Lee Elliot Major, chief executive of the Sutton Trust, said: "It is a scandal that over a third of boys from low income backgrounds who achieve so highly at the end of primary school are not among the highest school achievers at age 16."

School Leadership Today
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