01/08/2000 Economics Education Sociology
DOI: 10.1080/026809300750001694 SemanticScholar ID: 145511570 MAG: 2145331235

Underachievement is still an ugly word: reconsidering the relative effectiveness of schools in England and Wales

Publication Summary

This paper uses a new dataset to consider the relative effectiveness of secondary schools in England and Wales, and of different sectors of schools within Wales. It has been suggested, and is now ‘enshrined’ in policy documents for the new National Assembly for Wales, that students in Wales receive poorer schooling in general than their peers in England and consequently that they underachieve, but that those schools in Wales teaching through the medium of Welsh are immune from this criticism. Once local socio-economic factors are taken into account there is no evidence for either position. Students and schools in Wales appear to do as well as those in England, while schools teaching through the medium of English appear to do as well as those teaching in Welsh. This finding has important regional policy consequences, but is also an important component of a more general argument against the current ‘crisis account’ of British education.

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Avatar Image for Stephen Gorard

Prof. Stephen Gorard

University of Durham - Professor in the School of Education

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