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Class rules

December 12th, 2010 by Graham Attwell
This survey confirms that social class is still the largest determinant of student achievement. And the English government initiative to ensure every school teaches English through phonics will make no difference what so ever. Indeed it is hard to imagine that any educational measure, on its own, can deliver equality of opportunity. Instead it is poverty itself that has to be addressed.
clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

Scores from national tests taken by hundreds of thousands of 11-year-olds this summer, known as Sats, show that just 52.6% of boys on free school meals – a key indicator of poverty – obtained level four, the standard expected of children in their last year of primary school. At this level in English, children are able to write a proper sentence using commas, while at level four in maths they can tackle basic mental arithmetic.

Some 74.7% of boys who are not on free school meals reach this target – a gap of 22.1 percentage points. Figures taken for boys and girls together show a gap of 21.3 percentage points. Overall, 55.8% of pupils on free school meals obtained level four, compared to 77.1% from wealthier homes. The figures are at a similar level to last year.

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