Poorer pupils get less help with homework, research shows

Poorer pupils in England receive less help with their homework in comparison to their better-off classmates, research shows.

According to analysis of the OECD’s PISA survey published by the Sutton Trust, 50 per cent of the most disadvantaged 15-year-olds said their parents regularly helped with their homework, compared with 68 per cent of their better-off classmates.

Extra Time, by Dr John Jerrim of the UCL Institute of Education, looks at how private tuition and out-of-school instruction varies from country to country.

It finds the gap between rich and poor students reporting help with their homework is significantly bigger in England than in 12 of the other 21 countries taking part.

According to the research, only two East Asian nations (Hong Kong and South Korea) and Italy have a significantly bigger poverty gap.

The Sutton Trust’s annual barometer of how widespread private tuition is in England and Wales has also been published.

The polling by Ipsos MORI of 2,612 11-16-year-olds in England and Wales finds that 30 per cent of them have received private tuition at some point, up from 25 per cent in 2016 and 18 per cent in 2005.

This figure rises to 48 per cent in London (up from 37 per cent in 2014), where young people are more likely to have had private tuition than in any other region of the UK.

However, students who receive private tuition disproportionately come from better-off backgrounds.

Those from high affluence households (35 per cent) are twice as likely as those from low affluence households (18 per cent) to have received such tuition at some point.

Dr John Jerrim, author of the report, said: “These figures show that in the UK children from poorer homes receive significantly less help with their studies outside of school than in many of the other countries surveyed.

“As a result, children of high ability from low-income families are not receiving the kinds of educational opportunities they should. More support is needed to ensure these pupils are given vital additional support with their learning in order to keep up with children of similar ability from more affluent backgrounds.”

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