The Times Nicola Woolcock cites findings from our Global Gaps report.

Bright but poor girls are three years behind their better-off peers by the age of 15, a charity suggested yesterday.

The Sutton Trust said schools should be held accountable in league tables if they fail clever children from poorer homes after a study looked at the achievement gap between the best 10 per cent of pupils from richer backgrounds and the same group among the less advantaged.

The biggest difference, of three school years, was for girls in science and in reading. It was eight months bigger than the gap for boys in science. In maths the gap was about two years, nine months for both genders. The analysis was conducted by University College London’s Institute of Education.