Social Class, Ethnicity, Gender and Patterns of Educational Achievement : Data

Russell Haggar

Site Owner

 

Social Class, Ethnicity, Gender and Patterns of Educational Achievement : Data

 

 

Update: Educational Attainment and School Closures due to COVID 19

  1. Click here for Guardian article on recent trends in attainment gap
  2. Click here for Guardian article on EEF research  on impact of school closures due to COVID 19 on attainment gap
  3. Click here for BBC coverage of EEF research on impact of school closures due to COVID 19 on attainment gap
  4. Click here For EEF report on impact of school closures due to COVID 19 on attainment gap
  5. Click here for changes for Government plans to re-open schools
  6. Click here for House of Commons Report: Coronavirus and Schools

 

Learning objectives for this document

  1. Reading statistical tables and charts
  2. Recognition of relationships between social class , ethnicity, gender  and educational achievement.
  3. I hope that the following links will help you to navigate easily to the particular information which you may require.

Social Class Differences in Educational achievement:

Introduction

 

Sociological studies in advanced industrial countries including the UK have shown that educational achievements (as measured mainly by educational qualifications achieved) are closely related to social class background and that upper and  middle class students on average out perform working class students at all levels of the education system. For example, sociologists from the 1950s onwards have regularly pointed to the progressive under-representation of working class students in:

higher streams in primary (i.e. middle schools)
numbers passing the 11+ examination
numbers in higher streams in grammar schools and subsequently in comprehensives
numbers remaining in school after the minimum school leaving age
numbers passing O levels, gaining high grade GCSE passes and passing A levels
numbers enrolled on undergraduate courses
numbers involved in post graduate study.

Despite a wide range of government educational policy initiatives such as the introduction of free secondary schooling for state educated students and apparently fair, objective methods of selection (the 11+ examination) for the different types of school (Grammar, Technical, Secondary Modern) in the new Tripartite system in the 1944 Education Act, the expansion of state expenditure on education, the subsequent recognition of the limitations of the Tripartite Secondary System and its replacement almost everywhere by Comprehensive Secondary Education, the raising of the school leaving age to 15 and subsequently 16, the development of Education Priority Areas , the schools initiatives too numerous to mention of the Thatcher, Major, Blair and Brown , Coalition and Conservative administrations and the expansion of opportunities for further and higher education, it can still easily be demonstrated that working class students are less likely to be educationally   successful than are their middle class peers counterparts.

 

Social Class Differences in Educational achievement:

 

  1. Social Class and GCSE Level Attainment

 

Source 1:Youth Cohort Studies of the educational achievements of 16 year olds 1989-2006 published on the Department for Education and Skills DfES [subsequently DCFS and now DfE] website.

[The 1989-1999 data refer to GCSE Examination results in  for England and Wales whereas the 2001-2006 data refer to England only]

Click here for the YCS Report  on 16 year olds published in 2007. Notice that  the DfE no longer publishes YCS data and that the YCS data here are the latest available.

 

An individual’s social class position is often approximated by his/her occupation  but the occupational classification schema used by the UK Government were altered in 2000 so that the statistics for 1989-1998 are not comparable with the statistics for 1999- 2006 .Nevertheless the data do show that children whose parents are in professional and managerial occupations are more likely than children whose parents are in manual occupations to gain 5 or more GCSE A*-C grade passes.

For a diagrammatic presentation of these data for years 1999-2006. [Once you have reached the diagram [chart two] you may also click Sheet 1 or scroll over the diagram itself if you wish to revisit the actual statistics!]An individual’s social class position is often approximated by his/her occupation  but the occupational classification schema used by the UK Government were altered in 2000 so that the statistics for 1989-1998 are not comparable with the statistics for 1999- 2006 .Nevertheless the data do show that children whose parents are in professional and managerial occupations are more likely than children whose parents are in manual occupations to gain 5 or more GCSE A*-C grade passes.

 

Activity

  1. W hat percentages of pupils of Professional/Managerial and Unskilled Manual parents respectively gained 5 or more A*-C GCSE Pass Grades   in 1989 and 1998?
  2. The results of both of these pupil categories improved between 1989 and 1998 but what happened to the difference in results between these two pupil categories?
  3. What percentages of pupils of Higher Professional, Intermediate and Routine Occupation respectively gained 5 or A*-C GCSE Pass Grades in 2004?
  4. How would you describe the relationships between parental social class and educational achievement in general terms?
  5. Suggest three possible reasons for these relationships.

 

Source 2: GCSE Attainment and Free School Meal Eligibility

I have updated this table to include 20198-19 data. It already ovelapped the margin and now does  so even more. Therefiore I suggest deleted 2010/11 and 2013/14. In future more intermediate colunms can be deleted as we add future years so that it will give us quite a nice long term trend The net effect should be that there is no overlap

The YCS series on social class differences in educational achievement has been discontinued but the DfE continue to provide data on differences in educational achievement as between students eligible and ineligible for Free School Meals . Obviously Free School Meal Eligibility is a less than prefect measure of social class membership but these data do give some indication of the correlation between adverse economic circumstances and educational achievement at GCSE Level. Also since 2015/16 educational achievement has been measured in terms of the Progress 8 criterion and or attainment of 5 Ebacc subjects rather than in terms of attainment of 5 or more GCSE pass grades A*-C

Table : Gender, Free School Meal Eligibility and Percentages of Pupils gaining 5 or more GCSE A*-C  Grades including English and Mathematics 2008/9 – 2014/15 6/17 and percentages achieving the EBacc  [with English and Maths Grades 9-4 in 2016/7 and other subjects graded 9-4 in 2017/18] [Sources : DFE SFR Various Years:  GCSE Attainment and Pupil Characteristics: ]

Activity1. Using  information in the above table  on Gender, Free School Meal Eligibility and Educational Attainment answer the following questions.

  • What percentage of all boys gained 5 or more A*-C GCSE grades including English and Maths in 2014/15?
  • What percentage of all girls gained 5 or more A*-C GCSE grades including English and Maths in 2014/15?
  • What percentages of boys eligible for FSM and ineligible for FSM/unclassified  gained 5 or more A*-C GCSE grades including English and Maths in  2014/15 ?
  • What percentages of girls eligible for FSM and ineligible for FSM/Unclassified  gained 5 or more A*-C grades including English and Maths in 2014/15?

2.

Notice change of date to 2018/19

  • What percentage of all boys achieved the EBacc with English and Mathematics grades 9-4 in 2018/19?
  • What percentage of all girls achieved the EBacc with English and Mathematics grades 9-4 in 20118/19?
  • What percentages of boys eligible for FSM and ineligible for FSM/unclassified  achieved the EBacc with English and Mathematics grades 9-4 in 2016/17?
  • What percentages of girls eligible for FSM and ineligible for FSM/Unclassified  achieved the EBacc with English and Mathematics grades 9-4 in 2016/17?

Which factor seems to be the more significant influence on educational achievement :  Gender or Free School Meal Eligibility?

3. Which factor seems to be the more significant influence on educational achievement: gender or social class?

4. However it is important to consider interrelationships between gender, free school meal eligibility and ethnicity. It can then be shown that using EBacc attainment as a measure of achievement in 2016/17 the overall size of the free school meal eligibility/all other students  gap is heavily influenced by the size of the gap among white British students who are a large majority of the total student cohort. For White British students the FSM eligibility/all other students  is far greater than the Gender gap but the reverse is true in the case of Asian students, Pakistani students, Bangladeshi students, [but not Indian students], Black African students,  Black Caribbean students and Any Other Black students. For Chinese students  the Gender gap was 12% but Chinese FSM pupils actually outperformed all other Chinese students.

 

 

 

Source 3

The Coalition’s Record on Schools: Policy, Spending and Outcomes 2010-2015 by Ruth Lupton and  Stephanie Thomson . This is  a first class paper providing  detailed, insightful information on Coalition schools policies. Scroll down to page 45-47 for detailed data and diagrams on educational attainment and free school meal eligibility. There are one or two technicalities here that you may need to discuss with your teachers!

2.Social Class and GCE Advanced Level Attainment

Source 4 and 4b: Attainment at Level 2 [ =attainment of 5 or more GCSEs at Grades A*-C or equivalent qualifications ] and Level 3 [attainment of 2 or more A levels or equivalent qualifications]

Click here  for a DFE document entitled Level 2 and Level 3 attainment by young people in England. You may then scroll down to page 8 of this document for the Section on Free School Meal Eligibility which shows attainment by FSM and the attainment gap between the FSM group and their peers at Levels 2 and 3 between 2009 and 2013. It will be seen that both of these attainment gaps are substantial and have changed little in recent years. You may summarise these results here.

 

Click here for the 2018 version of this document.

For data on attainment at Level 3 by Free School Eligibility and Ethnicity in 2018. It will be seen that a substantial attainment gap exists between pupils eligible and ineligible for free school meals and that this gap varies substantially as between different ethnic groups

 

Click here BBC item on technicalities of Attainment 8 and progress 8 and here for  a very  technical article]

Click here for calculation of Attainment 8 and here for calculation of Progress 8

  1. Social Class and Access toHigherEducation

Source 5: Focus on Social Inequality [Edited by P. Babb J. Matin and P.Haezewindt ONS 2004] provides data on relationships between social class [measured by parental occupation] and participation in Higher Education .


The above data indicate that, for example, in 1960 27% of the children of parents in non-manual occupations participated in Higher Education compared with 4% of the children of parents in manual occupations. Also in 1960 only 5% of all 18-21 year olds   participated in Higher Education.

The final columns of the table are s taken from a 2009 Department of Business, Innovation and Skills  Paper distinguishing between Higher Education Participation Rates of  male and female students from NS SEC Classes1, 2 and 3 and NS SEC Classes 4,5,6 and7.  Clearly the 2007/8 data are based upon different social class schema and are therefore not fully comparable with the previous data.

For a diagrammatic presentation of these data. [However I have not included the more recent DBIS statistics in this diagram since they are not fully comparable with the earlier data]

 

More Recent Data

Click here for DFE publication December 2019: Widening Participation in Higher Education   Also once you reach the SFR you may click on National Tables and then on Table 1 to find the source of the tables which I have presented below.  Download full Document in PDF - Click Here

Eligibility and ineligibility for free school meals are obviously inadequate measures of social class inequality but pages 1, 4 and 5 of the report data do nevertheless indicate that social class inequality , although imperfectly measured, does have a significant impact on access to Higher Education.

 

  • Clearly The Gap in access to Higher Education between pupils eligible and ineligible for free school meals remains substantial
  • However the are also significant regional differences in this access gap. Note especially the performances of London pupils eligible and ineligible for free school meals
  • Access to more selective Higher Education Institutions is more likely for independent school students than for state school students
  • There are also significant  social class differences in post-graduation employment in high skill occupations

Click here and scroll to pages 4-5 for similar data provided by  UCAS

Click here for a Channel 4 Fact Check which provides very useful information on Social Class and Access to HE

Click here for useful article 2015

Activity

    1. What has happened to total participation in Higher Education since 1960?
  • Briefly describe the differences in access to Higher Education between the children of non-manual occupation parents and of manual occupation parents.
  •  Give three brief reasons why children of manual occupation parents are less likely than the children of non–manual occupation parents to participate in Higher Education.
  • At some point you will need to investigate the possible effects of higher tuition fees on access to Higher Education.

 

Elitist Britain : the educational background of the Britain’s leading people {Sutton Trust Report June 2019]

 

The Educational Backgrounds of the UK Professional Elite [Sutton Trust Report March 2016]

Approximately 7% of UK pupils are educated in private schools and privately educated pupils[ especially those from prestigious Public Schools such as Eton and Harrow are disproportionately more like to secure employment in elite occupations. The above report provides very detailed information on this issue . It also has a clear concise Executive Summary.

Office of National Statistics Data 2011  indicate that  individuals ’ educational qualifications have a major impact on their earnings potential .

Click here for the relevant ONS publication

The above data illustrate  that there are very significant social class differences in educational achievement and also that higher educational achievements are associated with higher earnings.

  • The Youth Cohort Study data indicate strong relationships between parental social class and educational achievement at GCSE level.
  • Pupils eligible for free school meals are on average less successful at GCSE level than pupils not eligible for free school meals.
  • The same applies to Level 3 Qualifications [Source 4]
  • There are strong relationships between social class membership and participation in Higher Education .
  • There are strong relationships between educational qualifications and earnings for both men and women

Taken in combination these findings mean that many working class children are themselves unlikely to earn high incomes in adult life because of their limited educational qualifications. Class advantage is to some extent transmitted from generation to generation although many working class children are successful in education and socially mobile in their employment careers.

 

Ethnic Differences in Educational Achievement

The single most useful source of data on Ethnic Differences in Educational Achievement is without doubt Ethnicity : Facts and Figures: Education, Skills and Training.. This document provides information on ethnic patterns of educational achievement at all levels of the English education system for 2017-18

The sources which appear below provide information on Longer term trends and a little information on Examination results in 2018/19. Also there is a little information on Average Point Scores at GCE Advanced Level in 2017/18 and 2018/19 whereas Ethnicity: Facts and Figures provides information on Ethnicity and High Achievement at GCE Advanced Level in 2017/18. With regard to Access to Higher Education there is information on Ethnicity, Free School Meal Eligibility and Access to Higher Education.  

 

 

  1. Ethnicity and  GCSE Level Attainment: Longer term trends

 

  1. Ethnicity and  GCSE Level Attainment

The following information is extracted   from the Youth Cohort Study of 16 Year olds published in Feb 2005 and amended in June 2006. It illustrates trends in educational achievement at GCSE level [as measured by attainment of 5 or more GCSE grades A*-C in Year 11] between 1989 and 2004 according to the  ethnicity of the students estimated on the basis of   samples which range between  24922 and 13,698.

Subsequently much greater emphasis came to be placed on the percentages of students achieving 5 or more GCSE subjects including English and Mathematics and in the two final columns  I have now included 2014/15  data for students achieving 5 or more GCSE grades A*-C [Column A] and for students achieving 5 or more GCSE Grades A*-C including English and Mathematics [Column B].

Subsequently achievement levels have been measures in terms of the Progress 8 statistic and the attainment of 5 EBacc subjects at grades A*-C and most recently grades 9-4 or 9-5. Achievement levels based  upon these most recent criteria are shown below.

Attainment of 5 or more GCSE grades in Year11 by ethnicity 1989-2004 and 2014/15

 

The above   data indicate that the attainments of all ethnic groups listed have improved very substantially between 1989 and 2004 and between 2004 and 2014/15. The Following points should be noted.

  • Data for Chinese students were not available in the YCS source but it is clear that Chinese students are the most successful of all ethnic groups at GCSE Level.
  • Indian students narrowly outperformed White students in 1992 but by 2014/15 the achievement gap between Indian students and White students increased significantly.
  • The relative performance of Bangladeshi students has improved significantly and by 2014/15 they were out performing White students.
  • By 2014/15 White students continued continued to outperform Pakistani students but the achievement gap was narrowing.
  • By 2014/15 White students continued to outperform Black students but the achievement gap was narrowing.

 

  • By 2014/15 White students continued to outperform Black Caribbean students but the achievement gap was narrowing.

In the above table important subdivisions within the White Category and students of mixed ethnicity have not been included and the data on the various ethnic groups have not been subdivided according to gender and free school meal eligibility. By 2016/17 a new system of evaluation was in place and in the following source I include full data on ethnicity ,gender and free school meal eligibility for the 2017/8  GCSE results in England.  Notice that , very importantly, data on Traveller and Gypsy Roma pupils are included in these more recent data

 

Exercise on Ethnicity and Educational Achievement at GCSE Level in the 2018 Examinations [Uncertainty here] Will this new table photo in black and white?MAYBE  leave for Now?

Let us investigate ethnic patterns of achievement using performance in EBacc subjects in 2017 as indicated in Table 2a of the 2018 publication. With regard to English and Mathematics I refer to attainment levels between 9-4 for all pupils. I have copied and pasted the relevant table here but students may also use the [replace above with followng] ] gabove link to refer to separate data for males and females and to  data on Attainment 8 and Progress 8 if they so wish.

Note tes original table [which appears after the new table  have copied] made by Dan is fine and we can leave it.. but I have copied the new 2018/19data from source for 2018/19 and we could use this table instead iif it will copy from frontage to word press or can yoy photograph it ?

You Could also include this new text. This is a very wide table  and so we can only use parts of it on this screen. However I have Copied the bits we need and perhaps it will copy from Frontpage to Wordpree . If so we could use it

Or You could use this text if we can't copy the new table but want to direct thre students how to find it

These data are updated yearly and you may find thefull data for 2018/19 by clicking the folllow link. Once  you reach the relevant page Click on Key Stage 4 Performance 2019;  scroll down a little to National Characteristics Table  and open Table CH1 . . You may then discuss this data with your teachers

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/key-stage-4-performance-2019-revised

Source:  Key stage 4 attainment data

 

1. Includes entries and achievements by these pupils in previous academic years.
2. State-funded schools include academies, free schools, city technology colleges, further education colleges with provision for 14- to 16-year-olds and state-funded special schools. They exclude independent schools, independent special schools, non-maintained special schools, hospital schools and alternative provision (including pupil referral units, AP free schools and AP academies as well as state-funded AP placements in other institutions).
3. Pupils at the end of key stage 4 who are included in the measure.
4. Attainment 8 and Progress 8 are part of the new secondary accountability system that was implemented for all schools from 2016. Users should be cautious when comparing Attainment 8 scores between 2017 and 2016. In 2017, Attainment 8 scores were calculated using slightly different point score scales in comparison to 2016, in order to minimise change following the introduction of 9-1 reformed GCSEs. This means that Attainment 8 scores are likely to look different in 2017, as a result of changes to the methodology. More information on the calculation of these measures is available in the Progress 8 guidance:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/progress-8-school-performance-measure

5. A Progress 8 score of 1.0 means pupils in the group make on average approximately a grade more progress than the national average; a score of -0.5 means they make on average approximately half a grade less progress than average. Progress 8 scores should be interpreted alongside the associated confidence intervals. If the lower bound of the confidence interval is greater than zero, it can be interpreted as meaning that the group achieves greater than average progress compared to pupils in mainstream schools nationally and that this is statistically significant. If the upper bound is negative, this means that the group achieves lower than average progress compared to pupils in mainstream schools nationally and that this is statistically significant.
6. As a percentage of all pupils at the end of key stage 4. In 2014/15 and earlier, where the English language and English literature option was chosen in English, exams in both had to be taken and a C grade or above achieved in English language. From 2015/16, to meet the English requirement of the A*-C in English and maths attainment measure, a C in either English language or English literature counted and there was no requirement to take both. From 2017, following the introduction of the reformed 9 to 1 GCSEs in English, a grade 5 or above in either English language or English literature counts and there remains no requirement to take both. The 9-4 measure shows pupils who achieved a grade 4 or above in either English language or English literature and maths and is shown alongside the headline measure for transparency and comparability.

To Download the above Chart in excel format - Click Here

 

Using the above data answer the following questions

  1.  Rank the broad ethnic categories in terms of the achievement of all pupils [Final Column]
  2. Which is the highest performing and the lowest performing broad ethnic group?
  3. Describe the ethnic differences in attainment within each ethnic category
  4. Notice especially the attainment levels of students in the Traveller of Irish Heritage and Gypsy Roma categories.
  5. Which is the highest performing and and lowest performing “narrow ethnic category”?
  6. Use your calculator to calculate the proportions of pupils eligible for free school meals in each ethnic category
  7. For all pupils what is the percentage gap in attainment between pupils eligible and ineligible for free school meals?
  8. In which broad ethic category is the gap in attainment between pupils eligible and ineligible for free school meals greatest?
  9. What is significant about the gap in attainment between Chinese pupils eligible and ineligible for free school meals?
  10. Can you give any reasons why the attainment gap between pupils eligible and ineligible for free school meals varies as between different ethnic groups.?
  11.  Discuss these statistics with your fellow students. Any other insights?
  12. You will also find that females out perform males in every ethnic category and that it is white boys eligible for free school meals who perform particularly badly.
  13. The overall attainment gap between pupils eligible for free school meals and pupils ineligible for free school meals is greater than the overall attainment gap between female and male students. Numerically this occurs because the FSM eligibility gap is very high [18.2%] for white British students who account for a very large proportion of the total student population. However in several ethnic categories [Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Black Caribbean , Chinese] the gender attainment gap is greater than the FSM eligibility attainment gap. [You would need to look at other Characteristics National tables to confirm this latter point.]
  14.  Write two paragraphs summarising the relationships between ethnicity, gender , free school meal eligibility and attainment at GCSE level

 

Sociologists have suggested three main types of explanation for the above relationships between ethnicity, free school meal eligibility and educational achievement.

  • It is suggested that eligibility for free school meals is an imperfect measure of the relative economic  deprivation suffered by pupils of different ethnic groups and that more accurate measures of economic deprivation would show that economic deprivation is a more important explanatory factor than the free school meals data suggest.[ As mentioned, several methods may be used to measure levels of economic deprivation but the comparison of these methods is technically complex and I shall not consider this point any further here. ]
  • It is suggested that the differential educational achievements of different ethnic groups may be explained partly by a range of cultural factors operative for some ethnic groups  so that some ethnic groups are more successful than others in overcoming the effects of material deprivation. It is widely believed  Indian and Chinese families are especially likely to value education highly and that these cultural attitudes enable poor Indian and Chinese students to offset more effectively the effects of poverty.
  •  Note that on the basis of the above data the NFSM-FSM discrepancy is smaller in all ethnic minority groups than it is among white students.
  • Others have is suggested that the cultural differences between ethnic groups have been much overstated and that  instead a range of processes internal to the schools themselves may operate to the relative disadvantage of some ethnic groups rather than others. Thus for example poor Afro-Caribbean students and also poor white students may be more likely than poor Chinese and Indian students to experience negative labelling in schools.

The gaps in attainment for white pupils eligible and ineligible for free school meals are greater than for any other ethnic group and this has generated considerable concern as to the prospects of white working class students although free school meal eligibility is a less than perfect measure of social class membership. This topic will be considered in more detail presently.

 

 

Ethnicity and GCE Advanced Level/Level Three  Attainment

 

Click here and scroll to page 11 for data illustrating ethnic differences in GCE Advanced Level achievement for broad ethnic groups

Click here for data indicating that Chinese and Indian students are especially likely to achieve very good GCE Advanced Level Results

 

Ethnicity and Access to Higher Education

 

Click here for Widening Participation in Higher Education 2019   and then on Main Tables: and then on Table 8 . Data are available on Access To HE and Access to High Tariff Universities. Notice these data at the above  link refer to Access To HE from State Schools. It is important to note that large proportions of students gain access to High Tariff Universities via private schools which may well mean that the overall percentages of white students at these universities are greater that the data based only on  [state funded and special schools] suggest.

Also  if you use the above click here link there are particularly nice graphics on pages 12  and 13  which illustrate the points shown in the following table.

Also in the Ethnicity and Access to Higher Education  section .change the last 2 sentences to the following

Relationships between ethnicity, gender, free school meal eligibility and access to Higher Education are illustrated in the following table. You may discuss these data with your teachers

 

 

 

For Similar Data on Ethnicity and Access to High Status Universities  Click here for Entry rates to Higher Education from Ethnicity Facts and Figures: Education skills and Training  and then on Higher Education. I have extracted the most relevant table  below It is noteworthy that although a smaller percentage of White students than other other Ethnic groups enter HE , of those entering HE a larger % of white students than of other ethnic groups enter High Status universities. However given that other members of other ethnic groups are far more likely than whites to enter HE it is likely that as a percentage of 16-18 year old students at the end of their 16-18 studies white students are less likely than all other ethnic minority students apart from Black students to enter High Tariff  Universities. Click here and scroll to pages 8-9 for similar data provided by  UCAS

 

This table must be interpreted with care

  • The data do indicate that a larger percentage of White entrants to University than of entrants to university from other ethnic groups enter high status universities.
  • However from the previous table we also know among students who have completed course for 16 -18 year olds [mostly A Levels] white students are the least likely ethnic group to enter Higher Education. This means that taken as a percentage of these 18 year olds White students are not the most likely to enter high status universities. This is shown in the previous table taken from the DFE site
  • There is no separate category for Chinese students who obviously out- perform all other ethnic groups Data for Chinese students are provided in the previous DFE table. We see , for example that Chines students eligible for frre school meals are more likely than all White Students to enter High Tariff Univeristieswh
  • Since White students are by far the largest ethnic category they obviously make up the majority of students at all universities

 Degree outcomes

Again Click here for Entry rates to Higher Education from Ethnicity Facts and Figures: Education skills and Training  and then on Higher Education.

I have extracted this table. White students are shown to be most likely to gain First Class degrees

 

 

Again the data in this table must be interpreted with care

Click here and here  and here for further information

To Download this Chart- Click Here

Question: How would you summarise relationships between ethnicity and access to HE, access to High Status He, and likelihood of attaining a First Class degree?

 

  • Gender and Educational Achievement

More detailed information on Gender and Educational Achievement may be found in my documents on Gender and Educational Achievement  and Gender and Subject Choice. However the main points in relation to gender and educational achievement ts in England and Wales are  as listed below

 

  1. Gender  and GCSE Level Attainment
  • In terms of attainment of 5 or more GCSE A*-C grades in recent years 8-10 % more females than males have reached this standard.
  • From 2016 onwards new criteria have been adopted to measure pupil achievement at GCSE level [EBacc, Attainment 8 and Progress 8, Grades 9-1.] Gender differences in attainment remain with these new measurement criteria.
  • Females outperform males at GCSE level in every major ethnic group.
  • For all pupils at GCSE level the attainment gap between pupils eligible for free school meals and all other pupils is greater than the attainment gap between boys and girls.
  • However this total figure arises because of the large FSM/Other attainment gaps among British and White pupils which make up a large proportion of the total. In several  ethnic minority groups the gender gap is greater than the FSM/Other Gap.
  • There are some significant gender differences in subject choice at GCSE level but these occur mainly in minority subjects
  1. Gender and GCE Advanced Level  Attainment
  • Until the late 1980s males out-performed females in GCE Advanced Level Examinations but this then began to change.
  • Between around 1990 and 2010 females were more likely than males to gain 3 A Level passes and also more likely to gain high grade passes although the overall differences in pass rates were smaller than at GCSE Level
  • In 2017and 2018 and 2019 the overall A*-E Pass rates for females [98.3% and 98.1% and 98.0%  ] are s narrowly higher than for males[97.3%and 97.1% and 97% ]. 
  • .In 2012 for the first time since the A* grade was introduced the percentage of  males gaining A* pass grades was greater than the percentage of females. This has continued from 2012 to 2019.
  • In 2017 for the first time the percentage of males gaining [A*+A combined] pass grades was greater than the percentage of females gaining [A*+A combined ] pass grades. This continued in 2018 but was reversed in 2019 when   25.5% of females and 25.4% of males gained [A*+A grades.]
  • You may find more DFE data  here on gender differences in achievement in the 2017/18 GCE Advanced Level Examinations. Scroll down to page10   . Female students have a slightly higher points score per entry ; they also had a higher points score per entry in the 3 best A level results per pupil; however  a larger percentage of males achieved 3A*-A results or better; males were more likely to achieve grades AAB or higher; and males were more likely  to achieve AAB or higher when at least two A levels were “facilitating subjects.” However from 2019 onwards the DfE has ceased recording data on facilitating subjects
  • Nevertheless notice that the number of girls taking Advanced Level subjects is greater than the number of boys so that despite boys’ higher percentages of top grade passes the gender difference in the number of top grade passes is small.
  • Some analysts predicted that female attainment levels might fall relative to male attainment levels as the coursework components of Advanced Level subjects were discontinued but others have never believed that coursework requirements particularly favoured female students and you may click here for  a TES article indicating that the gender gap in attainment of A* and A grades actually declined between 2016/7 and 2017/8.
  • The gender differences in subject choice are greater at Advanced Level than at GCSE Level. See  Gender and Subject Choice for recent data
  • There are significant gender differences in choice of vocational courses
  1. Gender andAcces sto Higher Education

Recent Data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency  2018/19    [Now updated  delete this date]20117/18

    Delete this date abd link Click here for HE  Student Enrolments and  Personal Characteristics 2012/13- 2 017/18  Click here  new link is  https://www.hesa.ac.uk/news/16-01-2020/sb255-higher-education-student-statistics   for HE  Student Enrolments and  Personal Characteristics 2012/13- 2 017/18  Females continue to be more likely than males to enrol for Higher Education Courses. Some students self- identify as “Other” rather than male or female

HE Enrolments by Subject Area and Sex. The gender differences in subject choice which occur at Advanced Level continue in Higher Education .

Delete link. and rest of this line The previous link takes you to this anyway t Click here for HE Enrolments by Subject Area and Sex. The gender differences in subject choice which occur at Advanced Level continue in Higher Education .

Gender Differences in Degree Results 2011/12- 2016/17 Delete this date replace with 2011/12  -2018/19

These statistics may be summarised as follows. Females are now marginally more likely than males to gain First Class Honours Degrees and quite significantly more likely than males to gain Upper Second Class Degrees [2 new 2018/19 rows addedRows added]

 

  • Click here for a BBC summary of recent detailed research on Gender and Higher Education
  • Click here for a link to the relevant research
  • Click here for a report from HEP1 on the underachievement of young men in higher education and here for Guardian coverage of this report .