One in six disadvantaged students in UK are satisfied with their lives, study finds

Posted on: 2018-10-24 10:00:00

Fewer than one in six disadvantaged students in the UK are satisfied with their lives, socially integrated at school and do not suffer from test anxiety, international experts have found.

Only 15 per cent of UK disadvantaged students are “socially and emotionally resilient” – which is less than the average (26 per cent) across all developed countries analysed, the global report reveals.

This is far below a number of countries including the Netherlands (50 per cent), Switzerland (43 per cent) and Finland (39 per cent), the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found.

Disadvantaged students who are socially and emotionally resilient tend to do better academically which suggests that helping disadvantaged students develop positive attitudes and behaviours towards themselves and their education would boost their academic development, the report says.

Andreas Schleicher, OECD's director of education and skills said: “Disadvantaged students in the UK have great difficulties overcoming those sorts of social-emotional factors.”

He added this meant it may result in disadvantaged students not going back into education even if they do perform well academically.

Mr Schleicher said one reason could be: “You still don't feel a high sense of belonging.”

The data – released in the OECD's Equity In Education paper – also finds that greater school choice does not necessarily benefit disadvantaged students.

It says evidence in countries as diverse as the United Kingdom and the United States suggests that reforms introducing greater school choice “tend to increase academic and socio-economic sorting because more advantaged, highly educated families are more likely to make better-informed choices.”

The research – which compares student experiences in 36 different countries – also finds that the academic performance gap between advantaged and disadvantaged children develops from as early as age 10.

On average, more than two-thirds of the achievement gap observed at age 15 and about two-thirds of the gap among people aged between 25 and 29 was already seen among 10-year-olds.

Eleanor Busby
Education Correspondent

Source: Independent

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