Dr Erzsébet Bukodi's new Barnett Paper demonstrates how children of similar intelligence have very different levels of educational attainment depending on their social backgrounds
The research team studied cohorts of children born in Britain and Sweden from the 1940s to the 1970s. They found that bright children from advantaged social backgrounds were twice as likely to achieve A-levels as similarly able children from the least advantaged social backgrounds.
The researchers from the Department and the Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm, studied the test scores measuring cognitive ability of children aged between 10 and 13, and found they had a strong effect on a child’s subsequent educational performance. However, a child’s social background was also found to have a strong effect over and above that of ability, with the parents’ education being more important than their social status and social class, though the latter also count. The study finds that the effect of a child’s social background on their attainment levels is not declining in Britain or Sweden, despite the introduction of policies over the years to promote a greater equality of educational opportunity.
Download the full paper on this page.
This page was last updated on 26/09/2013 at 15:54