Study reveals that clever but disadvantaged boys are most likely to struggle with GCSE’s

The research looks at 7,000 pupils, including 943 boys and 614 girls who are disadvantaged. The trust identified this group at ‘missing talent’ as the analysis revealed that 15 per cent of highly able pupils who score in the top 10 per cent during primary education fail to achieve in the top 25 per cent at GCSE. The study showed that 36 per cent of bright but disadvantaged boys seriously underachieve at age 16, and 24 per cent of girls getting disappointing GCSE results. These figures compare with 16 per cent of boys and 9 per cent of girls from better off homes who similarly fall behind by age 16.

Report author, Dr Rebecca Allen, said: “Our research shows how much support some schools need to enable all children to reach their full potential, regardless of ability and background. But there are also many schools across the country that are exemplars of best practice in the education of highly able children and so could provide a programme of extra-curricular support to raise horizons and aspirations for children living in the wider area.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said that recent reforms placed high expectations at the heart of the school system in England: “We are determined to ensure that every child, regardless of background is given an education which allows them to realise their potential. Alongside our £2.5bn pupil premium, the result of these reforms is that the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers is now narrowing at both primary and secondary level.”

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