Why Are Some Young People Less Likely to Achieve High Educational Qualifications

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Why are some young people less likely to achieve high educational qualifications?

There are many reasons why some young people are less likely to achieve high educational qualification, from parental care through gender divide, and whether the birth mother smoked during pregnancy to one of the most striking reasons, social class. (Department for Education and Skills 2006), (Connolly 2006).

Children from a lower class background will almost always underperform when compared to children from a middle class background, and this difference is even more striking when including gender with working class boys significantly underperforming compared to working class girls, middle class boys and middle class girls. In a school with more than 35% of pupils receiving free school meals, 67% of boys attain an acceptable standard in English, whereas 78% of girls at the same school achieve acceptable standard in English, and in a school with between 0% and 5% of pupils receiving free school meals 90% of boys attain an acceptable standard in English and 95% of girls attain an acceptable standard in English (Connolly 2006). It would appear from this that there are significant disincentives for boys of working class background to achieve high educational qualifications.  Speaking in 2008 about how social class determines educational achievement Graham Holley, the chief executive of the Training and Development Agency, said: "If you turn the clock back on pupils in school today 15 years and predict their outcomes from where they were born, you can do it.”(Garner 2008). In a 2004 study Connolly looked at two physically close schools (half a mile separated them) one mostly pupiled by affluent middle class children, the other mostly pupiled by poor working class children, it was observed that the boys at play in the working class school would concentrate on activities that showed off the physical prowess, often play fighting and practicing fight moves seen from TV, whereas...
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