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A long division: Closing the attainment gap in England’s secondary schools

A long division: Closing the attainment gap in England’s secondary schools

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Published by IPPR
School improvement policies will not be enough to close the attainment gap between rich and poor pupils in England’s schools.
School improvement policies will not be enough to close the attainment gap between rich and poor pupils in England’s schools.

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Published by: IPPR on Sep 26, 2012
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11/29/2012

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Institute for Public Policy ResearchJonathan Clifton and Will Cook
September 2012© IPPR 2012
REPORT
 A     L    O     N     G      D    I     V     I     S     I     O     N     
CLOSING THE ATTAINMENT GAPIN ENGLAND’SSECONDARY SCHOOLS
 
POSITIVE IDEAS foCHANGE
 ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Jonathan Clifton
is a research ellow at IPPR.
Will Cook 
is an associate ellow at IPPR.
 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
 The authors would like to thank Nick Pearce, Rick Muir, Chris Wellingsand Alice Heath or helpul comments on earlier drat s o this paper. They would also like to thank the Department or Education orproviding access to data rom the National Pupil Database, and ChrisCook or allowing us to reproduce gure 1.4. This research was generously supported by Save the ChildrenUK.
 ABOUT IPPR
IPPR, the Institute or Public Policy Research, is theUK’s leading progressive thinktank. We producerigorous research and innovative policy ideas or a air,democratic and sustainable world.We are open and independent in how we work, andwith oces in London and the North o England, IPPRspans a ull range o local and national policy debates.Our international partnerships extend IPPR’s infuenceand reputation across the world.IPPR4th Floor14 Buckingham StreetLondon WC2N 6DF T: +44 (0)20 7470 6100E: ino@ippr.orgwww.ippr.orgRegistered charity no. 800065 This paper was rst published in September 2012.© 2012 The contents and opinions expressed in this paper arethose o the author(s) only.
 
IPPR |
  A long division
1
Contents
Introduction ..................................................................................................................21. The attainment gap in context .................................................................................3
1.1 Why does the attainment gap matter? ...................................................................31.2 What role can schools play in narrowing the achievement gap? ..............................41.3 The problem .........................................................................................................61.4 How does the achievement gap in England compare to other countries? ..............91.5 How has the attainment gap changed over time? ................................................131.6 A challenge at the top and bottom ......................................................................15
2. Using secondary schools to tackle the attainment gap ........................................18
2.1 How much of the achievement gap is a result of what happensat secondary school? ...............................................................................................182.2 Can ‘school improvement’ policies narrow the attainment gap? ..........................192.3 Using the pupil premium and other targeted interventions to narrow theattainment gap .........................................................................................................232.4 How the attainment gap can be closed: a whole-system approach ......................32
3. Conclusions ............................................................................................................35
References ...............................................................................................................37
 Appendices ................................................................................................................42
 Appendix A: Interpreting GCSE points scores ............................................................42
 Appendix B: Analysis of attainment gaps excluding equivalent qualications
...............43

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