Here is a report from the TES a couple of weeks ago which reinforces my last post and makes a more worrying point about the widening attainment gap between social classes:

http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6003594

TESS reports that the attainment gap is widening as more middle-class parents turn to ‘enrichment activities’ for their children. Elizabeth Buie reports

Middle-class parents are increasingly using private educational services to turn their offspring into “Renaissance children”, endowed with skills in the arts, social graces, sport and other areas of learning.

This greater dependence on bought-in services means that state schools can make even less impact on the attainment gap between the haves and have-nots, according to one of the country’s leading educational sociologists.

If anything, the social inequality gap is growing, particularly in England, fuelled in part by government-led initiatives which allow the middle-classes to gain advantage over working-class families, Stephen Ball, a professor of sociology of education at the University of London, believes. “If we want to understand and explain persistent education inequalities, the school is the wrong place to look and the wrong place to reform, at least in isolation from other parts of society,” he said’

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