Bright but poor pupils are twice as likely to miss top GCSE grades

The brightest pupils at age 11 are much more likely to fall off track during secondary school if they are poor, with boys being hit hardest, a new analysis has found. Pete Henshaw reports

Students who score in the top 10 per cent nationally at the end of primary school are more than twice as likely to miss out on the top GCSE grades if they are from a poor home, a study has found.

The Sutton Trust, which has published the research briefing, is now calling for the government to establish a new “highly able fund” to trial the most effective ways of improving progress and attainment of bright students.

The research is based on 7,000 “highly able” pupils in England who scored in the top 10 per cent in their key stage 2 SATs but who got GCSE results (in 2014) that placed them well outside the top 25 per cent nationally. This figure includes more than 1,550 disadvantaged (Pupil Premium) children.

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