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Education PolicyEvidence of Equity and Effectiveness$
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Stephen Gorard

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447342144

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447342144.001.0001

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Differential attainment at school

Differential attainment at school

(p.65) Five Differential attainment at school
Education Policy

Stephen Gorard

Policy Press

This chapter looks in more detail at some of the patterns of attainment in Chapter 3, such as by sex and area of residence. While these patterns change over time, all of them give further clues as to why the patterns themselves exist. As such, this chapter looks at some of the evidence on what were ‘moral panics’ at the time, such as the failure of pupils in Wales and the increasing under-achievement of boys and of parts of the United Kingdom. It also suggests that using the more sensitive measure of the duration of poverty (years with free school meals, or FSM) has much to recommend it. Using the number of years a student has been eligible for FSM, and how segregated a school system is by poverty and other indicators of disadvantage, it is possible to explain substantive differences such as the apparently superior attainment of schools in the South of England compared to the North.

Keywords:   attainment patterns, moral panics, under-achievement, duration of poverty, free school meals, poverty, disadvantage

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