Presentation on theme: "Stephen Meek Director of Strategy, DfES 26 April 2006"— Presentation transcript:
1 Stephen Meek Director of Strategy, DfES 26 April 2006 Social Mobility – Narrowing Social Class Attainment Gaps A summary of the evidence and lessons for policy makingStephen MeekDirector of Strategy, DfES26 April 2006
2 Extensive review of evidence to explore: Overview of the workExtensive review of evidence to explore:What we know about social class attainment gaps? What drives the attainment gap? What impact has policy had, and what are the lessons for policy making?
3 Other countries’ experience confirms the nature of the challenge, and shows that this issue is not unique to the UKRelationship between the average performance of participating countries on the PISA reading literacy scale and the socio-economic gap in student performance: 2000Size of gap not inevitable, but:Driven by deep social factors more than structure of education system (though feedback)Hardest to reach are hard to reach.
4 Achieving both of those objectives simultaneously is challenging Creating a high-performance/high-equity system: reducing the attainment gap and increasing the average level of attainmentEducational Attainment Levels in England: Present and Future (Indicative Only)HighAverage:High SEGAverage:High SEGAverage: AllGapAttainmentLevelsAverage:Low SEGAverage: AllGapAverage:Low SEGLowNOWTHE FUTUREAchieving both of those objectives simultaneously is challenging
5 What do we know about social class attainment gaps What do we know about social class attainment gaps? What drives the attainment gap? What impact has policy had, and what are the lessons for policy making?
6 There is evidence of a social class attainment gap at Foundation Stage… Percentage of 5 year olds achieving a ‘good’ level of development by the end of Foundation Stage in schools in Sure Start areas compared with all schools in England (national average): 2005(%)
7 …the attainment gap is similarly evident at pupil-level across all Key Stages in School… Average Point Score for Pupils by Free SchoolMeal (FSM) Status for Key Stages 1 to 4: 2005(Points)Non-FSM PupilsFSM PupilsKey Stage 1Key Stage 2Key Stage 3Key Stage 4(2)
8 As well as increases in attainment, there has been a minor narrowing of the gap at KS3 and 4, though overall gap remains signficantChange in Average Point Score for Pupils byFree School Meal (FSM) Status for Key Stages 2, 3 and 4(Points)Key Stage 2 ( )Key Stage 3 ( )Key Stage 4 ( )PointsMinor wideningPointsPointsMinor narrowingImprovementImprovementImprovementMinor narrowingNonFSMFSMTotalNonFSMFSMTotalNonFSMFSMTotal(1)
9 While prior attainment becomes increasingly important, deprivation has impact at all attainment levelsProportion in FT Education at 16 by Year 11 Attainmentand Parental Occupation Classification (NS-SEC): 2003(%)Prior Attainment at GCSE
10 Unqualified school leavers who go on to acquire a level 2 qualification have better job prospects Employment rates of unqualified school leavers wholater attain against qualified school leavers(%)
11 What do we know about social class attainment gaps What do we know about social class attainment gaps? What drives the attainment gap? What impact has policy had, and what are the lessons for policy making?
12 Tackling social factors is critical, but they are harder to affect Social factors are the biggest driver of the attainment gap – but our educational levers are strongerThe most significant factors behind a child’s achievement are social, and in particular, parental. However, it is harder for government to intervene to effect change here.Though less of a driver of the social class attainment gap than social factors and individual characteristics, the evidence of the positive impact of educational interventions is more tangible.Tackling social factors is critical, but they are harder to affectEducational interventions can be effective, even though their potential impact is smaller
13 What do we know about social class attainment gaps What do we know about social class attainment gaps? What drives the attainment gap? What impact has policy had, and what are the lessons for policy making?
14 Summary: Early yearsPre-school attendance has a positive effect on attainment in primary school,Access to childcare provision supports parental employment, which is likely to lead to better child outcomesLessons for policy makingtake-up is lower among children from lower SEGs –we need a better understanding of any ‘quality gap’ and its impact on child developmentEvidence from the Sure Start evaluation points to ensuring interventions reach the most disadvantagedNeed to sustain impact through school for early investment to have lasting consequences
15 Summary: family policy limited evidence on the effectiveness of interventions to improve parenting skills,those programmes which have an impact are often highly targeted, specialised and costlySpecific interventions to improve parenting skillsYoung people who live in single-parent/carer households or workless households often have lower attainment levelsIncreasing employment rates should raise family income, and permanent income does appear to matter for child development.The Department can support employment through access to childcare and through improving adult skill levelsImproving family circumstances
16 Curriculum, Teaching and Support Summary: School ageRisks that the present floor target regime on its own doesn’t sufficiently focus effort on the lowest attaining pupils, or on children with potential to achieve very highlyIntervention in failing schools has disproportionately benefited deprived pupilsFunding is distributed at national level to recognise deprivation but this is often not reflected in Local Authorities allocationIncreased funding can drive higher attainment among low SEG pupils, especially if linked with particular teaching and learning strategiesUse of personalised interventions such as catch-up literacy and small group tuition can help FSM childrenExtended Schools have considerable potential – but need to ensure accessNot just for low-attaining deprived pupils – deprived pupils at risk of slower progress at all levels of attainmentEducation Bill ensures pupils from deprived backgrounds are not disadvantaged in admissions, and are supported in making choices about schools.School SystemFundingCurriculum, Teaching and SupportChoice and Access
17 Summary: 14-1914-19 Qualifications and Curriculum Reforms have Two Broad ObjectivesBreaking the cycle of student disengagementParticipation lower among low SEG groupsRaising attainmentEnsuring that all students reach Level 2 by age 19:a new ambition for 85% of all young people to achieve this by 2013, rising to 90% thereafter
18 Summary: 19+HE - while prior attainment is the key determinant of access to Higher Education, aspirations and expectations still play a critical role.Raising the skill levels of adults with few or no qualifications has potential intergenerational benefits, but making significant inroads into the stock is a big challenge,And evidence from the National Employer Training pilots suggested a need for targeting of employers who do not already provide time off for low skilled employees to train to qualifications to extend reach and impact
19 Six general lessons underpin our approach to narrowing the social class attainment gap 1. Higher Profile2. Better Measurement3. Early and sustained high quality interventions4. Personalised Interventions5. Improved understanding of key groups6. Sharing Best Practice
20 Key conclusionsWe are seeking to achieve an education system characterised by excellence and equityThe evidence suggests that we need to think hard about accountabilities and incentives in the education systemKey areas include:A continued focus on raising attainment for all in the early yearsA target to increase the number of children at age 5 who achieve a good level of development from 48% to 53% by 2008Incentives to encourage progression for all students at all key stages, and possibly a target to this effectEnsuring that nearly all students reach Level 2 by age 19A new ambition for 85% of all young people to achieve this by 2013, rising to 90% thereafter
21 Stephen Meek Director of Strategy, DfES 26 April 2006 Social Mobility – Narrowing Social Class Attainment Gaps A summary of the evidence and lessons for policy makingStephen MeekDirector of Strategy, DfES26 April 2006