Underachievement in Schools

Underachievement in Schools

Underachievement in Schools

Underachievement in Schools


There is greater pressure for schools to meet certain levels of pupil achievement now more than ever before. Teachers and policy-makers are looking for ways to ensure pupils are not underachieving, and to do this must have some understanding of the causes of underachievement. This timely book examines different levels of achievement of pupil groups and the reasons behind them. The authors highlight ways in which schools and policy-makers might improve achievement through changes in policy and practice. Some of the topics considered are: * What is underachievement? * Social background and achievement * School structures and achievement * Schools raising attainment Underachievement in Schools will be a valuable resource for anyone involved with school policy as well as teachers and those training to teach.


This book is concerned with one of the most important issues facing schools and society today, namely the underachievement of the UK's future citizens: pupils in schools. It is a subject that has - and should have - a high profile for policy makers in central and local government, for teachers, academics and all those with an interest in education and equity.

The book is designed to provide students (both undergraduate and postgraduate), teachers and policy makers with an understanding of the current state of knowledge on this topic, an analysis of what might be done in terms of policy and practice and an exploration of some of the ways that schools might try to raise levels of achievement - notwithstanding the enormous difficulties that some schools, particularly in very disadvantaged areas, face.

The book is divided into two parts. Part 1 examines what we mean by the term 'underachievement' before exploring the differences in achievement between different groups of pupils - those from different social classes, those from low-income families, girls and boys, children from different ethnic groups, and so on.

Each chapter examines what we know about the achievement levels of different groups of pupils and, where possible, what might account for the differences observed. Where guidance exists on how the achievement of particular groups of pupils might be raised, this is given. At the end of each chapter, the key points that have emerged are presented.

Part 2 has a somewhat different focus. Here we concentrate on three specific areas that we consider have a bearing on underachievement in schools. First, we look at school structures that might act as barriers to achievement; second, we look at what

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