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Latest and archived research


Secondary schools have managed significant changes in the Key Stage 4 curriculum they offer in response to changes in performance tables and accountability measures from 2010 onwards. In this piece we assess how these changes are starting to affect the educational choices and successes of pupils at the ages of 16 and 18. We do this by following a cohort of pupils who took their GCSEs in 2012/13 and A-levels or other Key Stage 5 qualifications in 2014/15, comparing their outcomes to a cohort passing through the education system three years earlier. Read more>>>

From our archive:

Missing talent (2015)

Every year there are high achievers at primary school, pupils scoring in the top 10% nationally in their Key Stage 2 (KS2) tests, yet who five years later receive a set of GCSE results that place them outside the top 25% of pupils. There are about 7,000 such pupils each year, 15% of all those we term as highly able. We call these pupils our ‘missing talent’ and in this research brief we explore who they are, their routes of study at secondary school and how we might best raise their aspirations and achievements by the age of 16. Read more>>>

Subject to background (2015)

Subject to Background looks at children’s education careers  by drawing on data from a sample of more than 3,000 young people who have been tracked through school since the age of three. In particular, this research identified a group of disadvantaged children, establishing what predicted their academic success at the age of 11 and following them up to age 18. The findings reveal that bright but disadvantaged children are considerably less likely to take the subjects most likely to get them into good universities than their more advantaged counterparts. Read more>>>