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The socio-economic gradient in teenagers' literacy skills: how does England compare to other countries?

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  • John Jerrim

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    (Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK.)

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    Abstract

    A number of studies have explored the link between family background and children's achievement in a cross-national context. A common finding is that there is a stronger association in England than other parts of the developed world. Rather less attention has been paid, however, to England's comparative position at different points of the conditional achievement distribution. Is the test score gap particularly big between the most able children from advantaged and disadvantaged homes, or are differences particularly pronounced between low achievers? This issue is investigated using the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2009 dataset. The association between family background and high achievement is found to be stronger in England than other developed countries, and that there is little evidence that this has changed over time. However, socio-economic differences at the bottom of the achievement distribution are no more pronounced in England than elsewhere. I discuss the implications of these findings for social mobility and educational policy in the UK.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London in its series DoQSS Working Papers with number 12-04.

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    Date of creation: 29 Jun 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:1204

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    Postal: Department of Quantitative Social Science. 20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL
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    Keywords: Words: PISA; educational inequality; social mobility;

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    Cited by:
    1. John Jerrim & Anna Vignoles & Ross Finnie, 2012. "University access for disadvantaged children: A comparison across English speaking countries," DoQSS Working Papers 12-11, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.
    2. John Jerrim & Álvaro Choi, 2013. "The mathematics skills of school children: how does England compare to the high performing east Asian jurisdictions?," Working Papers 2013/12, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    3. John Jerrim, 2014. "The link between family background and later lifetime income: how does the UK compare to other countries?," DoQSS Working Papers 14-02, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.
    4. John Jerrim & Alvaro Choi, 2013. "The mathematics skills of school children: How does England compare to the high performing East Asian jurisdictions?," DoQSS Working Papers 13-03, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.

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