GCSE pupils in England outperform those in Wales

Higher levels of immigration and the distorting effects of league tables may explain why children in England outperform those in Wales at GCSEs, according to research.The study by the Education Policy Institute found children in Wales did as well as or better than their peers in England until the end of primary school. But by the time of GCSEs at the age of 16, those in England were more likely to get grade C or above.The new study says that one difference is that England has more than twice as many pupils from minority ethnic groups, “who tend to perform better at GCSE level”.England’s school-age population has about 30% of pupils from minority ethnic families, compared with just 12% in Wales.The report’s author, Luke Sibieta, said: “There seems little doubt that teenagers in Wales display worse educational outcomes than children in England. However, we also found evidence that younger pupils in Wales perform much better, equalling the literacy levels of pupils in England. It is important that policymakers understand what might be driving the different performance gaps.”

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