Best Practice

Working class students: In pursuit of equity in education

In this four-article series, Matt Bromley considers how we can support working class students, whose outcomes are often much worse than their peers. In part one, he looks at the scale of the problem and begins to explore solutions for teachers and schools

Society is unfair and, as microcosms of society, so too are schools. Success is all too often determined not by merit, but by birth. The richer you are, the more successful you will be in school and in later life.

Working class students (particularly boys) are among the lowest performers in our schools and the link between household income and attainment is multi-racial.

If you are a high ability student from a low social class, you are not going to do as well in school and in later life as a low ability student from a high social class. In other words, it is social class and wealth – not ability – that define a student’s educational outcomes and future life chances.

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