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Tackling low educational achievement

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This report examines the factors underlying low achievement in British education. It is important to find out why tens of thousands of young people leave school with no or very few qualifications. Low achievement at age 16 is associated with disadvantage and also a variety of outcomes by gender and ethnic group. Existing policies and practices within the educational system do not always help. Boys outnumber girls as low achievers by 20 per cent and white British boys comprise nearly half of all low achievers, while there are also achievement problems among some minority ethnic groups. The report addresses the ongoing debate about education policies in relation to reducing low achievement. The study uses the National Pupil Database and related data to examine four different measures of low achievement, and a profile of low achievement is offered. The report will be of interest to all those concerned with educational outcomes, including policymakers, education professionals, unions and the media.

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