Skip to main content

Academic Attainment

Volume 78: debated on Tuesday 30 April 1985

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what studies have been made to compare the academic success of people from socio-economic groupings C and D post the reorganisation of secondary schools by comparison with that prior to reorganisation; and if he will make a statement;(2) what studies have been made of success in industry and commerce by people coming from the socio-economic groupings C and D

(a) since the secondary school reorganisation along comprehensive lines and (b) in the era of grammar schools, secondary modern and technical schools.

I am not aware of any studies which specifically address these questions, although reports of studies by the National Children's Bureau and the National Council for Educational Standards have included reference to the relationships between social class, selectivity and examinations results.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what research his Department is undertaking into the reasons for the nature of the correlations between the social class of parents and the educational attainment of their children.

There have been a number of studies demonstrating a strong statistical relationship between examination results and home background factors. There is also evidence of varying levels of attainment amongst children from similar home backgrounds. I announced last November, at columns 698–99, that I was willing to consider research proposals designed to explore those factors within the responsibility of the education service which affect educational attainment. It would be necessary to take into account significant factors such as social class which are external to the education service. The Department is currently considering proposals made in response to my statement.