Dr Francis Ndaji, Dr John Little and Professor Robert Coe
This is the first study that has compared the academic performances of pupils in independent and state schools from the age of four. Attending an independent school in England is associated with the equivalent of two additional years of schooling by the age of 16, and the evidence of this study does suggest that similar pupils achieve more in independent schools than in state schools when cross-sector differences are controlled.
The comparison was based on the performances of schools in the two sectors in the Performance Indicators In Primary Schools (PIPS) assessments produced by the Centre For Evaluation and Monitoring, and in GCSE exams. Evidence from the data suggests that independent schools perform better than state schools in PIPS SOR, PIPS Year Four, and PIPS Year Six assessments as well as in GCSE exams.
The differences between the academic achievements of independent and state schools at GCSE varied from one subject to another. The differences were typically highest in French, History and Geography after pupils’ differences were accounted for. They were lowest in Chemistry, Biology and Physics.
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