EdCo News Round Up September 2019

Disadvantaged students more likely to fail EBacc subjects: Advantaged students are twice as likely to achieve top grades

Students from the poorest regions in England are almost twice as likely to fail maths and English GCSEs compared to students in more advantaged areas. Teach First used the Department for Education's underlying 2018 key stage 4 data to compare the EBacc achievement of students from more and less advantaged postcodes. Around 20% of pupils from more advantaged areas failed maths or English, whereas 38% of more disadvantaged students failed. In the sciences, disadvantaged students are almost three times more likely to fail, with 15% not achieving a pass compared to an average of 6% of more advantaged students failing the three sciences. For the optional EBacc subjects, history and geography see more advantaged students fail 27% of the time while more disadvantaged students fail these subjects around half the time. Languages, like French, see a similar trend with 26% of advantaged students failing and 41% of disadvantaged students failing.

According to Teach First Chief Executive, Russell Hobby, ‘The prime minister needs to not only hold true to his promise of more investment for schools – but he must also target it at those in areas of the greatest need… That also means urgently addressing teacher starting salaries, to help encourage more talented people into the profession, so they can use their skills and knowledge where it really matters'.

GCSEs: Disadvantaged pupils are getting left behind

Poor pupils nearly twice as likely not to pass maths GCSE as wealthier peers, analysis finds https://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/gcse-results-day-2019-maths-english-pass-poor-students-a9071741.html

Poorer pupils twice as likely to fail key GCSEs

Disadvantaged teenagers more likely to score low GCSE grades https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article/Disadvantaged-teenagers-likely-score-low-GCSE-grades.html

Poorer pupils lag behind wealthier peers in all EBacc subjects

KS2 gender gap grows to 10% this year: High literacy achievement from girls causes further increase

The education attainment gap between boys and girls has continued to grow this year in key stage 2 SATs results. 10% more girls than boys reached their expected grades in reading, writing and maths, according to Department for Education statistics, with 70% of girls and 60% of boys achieving their expected grades. The gap has increased by 2% since last year. The statistics have shown that significant differences in literacy achievement are facilitating the growing gap. In reading, 78% of girls reached the expected standards compared to 69% of boys; leaving a 9% gap. And in writing, 85% of girls achieved the expected standard compared to 72% of boys; leaving a staggering 13% gap. However, in maths, there is only a 1% gap between boys and girls. Girls maintain their lead, with 79% achieving their expected grades compared to 78% of boys.

Sats: Girls widen the gender gap over boys in 3Rs

The gap in academic skills of girls and boys widens, show Sats https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/sep/05/gap-in-academic-skills-of-girls-and-boys-widens-show-sats

Government statement on girls' education https://www.parliament.uk/business/news/2019/september/government-statement-on-girls-education/

Primary school SATs 2019: A look at gender gaps, the disadvantage gap and the impact of the phonics test https://ffteducationdatalab.org.uk/2019/09/primary-school-sats-2019-a-look-at-gender-gaps-the-disadvantage-gap-and-the-impact-of-the-phonics-test/

Childhood happiness steadily decreasing since 2009: Almost a fifth of children worried about their mental health

On a scale of 1 to 10, children's overall happiness has fallen below an 8 for the first time in an annual report called The Good Childhood report. When asked how happy they were with their lives, children scored 8.17 in 2009/10. However, the latest figures score childhood happiness at 7.89 in 2016/17. The report also found that 17% of children are worried about their mental health. Furthermore, 6% more girls than boys are worried about their mental health. The report noted that 33% of children are concerned about not having enough money, and 29% are worried about getting good grades at school and a job. 77% of teens who have sought out support blame heavy academic pressure for their poor mental health, according to another survey by YoungMinds. The same study concluded that teachers play an essential role in supporting young people struggling with mental health issues. Though this support is held back by real-terms funding cuts, a reduction in support teachers and increasingly limited access to external mental health support for students.

Happiness study raises fears over children's mental health https://www.cypnow.co.uk/cyp/news/2007091/happiness-study-raises-fears-over-childrens-mental-health

Ministers urged to make schools measure pupils' wellbeing as child happiness hits lowest in decade https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/social-affairs/children-and-young-people/news/106129/ministers-urged-make-schools-measure

77% of teens with mental health problems blame school

Young People's Mental Health

Schools could teach children how to be happy – but they foster competition instead

The Good Childhood Report https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/sites/default/files/the_good_childhood_report_2019.pdf