Socioeconomic Inequality and Student Outcomes in English Schools

  • Jake AndersEmail author
  • Morag Henderson
Part of the Education Policy & Social Inequality book series (EPSI, volume 4)


This chapter explores socioeconomic inequality in educational outcomes in England. We begin by describing the key features of the English education system and highlight the characteristics of the student population. We explore the educational outcomes of socioeconomically disadvantaged young people through comparison of a number of different outcomes during educational careers. We analyze policies introduced or mooted in recent years to consider the extent to which they are likely to address these challenges successfully. These include the introduction of “academy” schools, reforms to the school curriculum, changes to education funding, the potential (re-)growth of academically selective schooling, increased investment in early years education, and an increased focused on gathering and disseminating robust evidence on “what works” in educational attainment. Many of these changes seem unlikely to hold many lessons for other countries wishing to reduce attainment gaps. However, there are notable exceptions, particularly regarding early years’ education and improving the evidence base on what practical changes schools can make to promote attainment among those from disadvantaged backgrounds.


Student achievement Socioeconomic status Inequality England 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UCL Institute of EducationLondonUK

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