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Grouping primary pupils by ability is indefensible

For more than 30 years, primary schools have been in the habit of grouping children according to ability. In almost every primary, we find spelling groups, reading groups and maths groups with children who have been placed by dint of their “ability”.

This system is outdated, indefensible and entirely unfit for purpose.

Placing children in groups based on ability is all about making classroom management easy and nothing to do with educational gain for children. Grouping children by ability creates self-confidence issues for those who find themselves in the “bottom” group, overconfidence in ...

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