School effects and equity gaps in pupil's educational progress age 7-11

Strand, S. (2011) School effects and equity gaps in pupil's educational progress age 7-11. In: Annual Conference of the British Educational Research Association (BERA), 6 - 8 September 2011, Institute of Education, London, UK. (Unpublished)

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Background // Recent research reviews from the Department for Education highlight continued inequalities in educational attainment in England associated with social class, ethnicity and gender (e.g. DCSF, 2009). However little research has sought to compare the relative size of these attainment gaps, to explore the interactions between the three equity factors or to identify school effects on attainment gaps. This paper presents an analysis of the 2008 national age 11 test scores for 2,875 pupils attending 71 primary schools in an ethnically diverse inner London borough that seeks to address these questions. // Analytical framework // Hierarchical multi-level multiple regression analysis is used to identify the unique (net) contribution of particular pupil and school factors to variations in pupil outcomes at age 11, built over four models. First, the associations of ethnicity, gender and SES with attainment are assessed in a simple main effects analysis. Second, interactions between ethnic group, gender and SES are introduced. Third, controls are included for a range of further contextual variables both at the individual pupil level (e.g., age, SEN, attendance, mobility) and at the school level (e.g. school mean SES, % of girls, etc). Fourth, prior attainment at age 7 is included in order to model effects on pupil progress during primary school. School effects are derived from this final model. // Results // The results highlight the importance of explicitly modelling the interaction between ethnicity and social class, and identify both Black Caribbean and White British low SES pupils as the groups with the lowest attainment age 11. However there is also evidence of significant and unexplained underachievement among middle and high SES Black Caribbean pupils. In most minority ethnic groups high and low SES pupils make roughly similar progress age 7-11. However White British high SES pupils make substantially more progress than White British low SES pupils, substantially increasing the SES gap over time.
School effects on different pupil groups can be large. For example in the more effective schools (as determined by the value-added model) low SES pupils actually score significantly better than high SES pupils in the less effective schools. However all pupils (both low and high SES) benefit from attending the more effective schools and so these schools do not eliminate the SES gap. The limits to what can be achieved by schools alone will be discussed.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: 5. Quantitative Data Handling and Data Analysis > 5.6 Multilevel Modelling
Depositing User: L-W-S user
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2012 15:35
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2021 13:55

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