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For failure, read three A grades

Pressure to succeed makes many middle-class children feel like failures, suggests new research from the Institute of Education, in London. They felt they had underperformed if they did not get four As at A-level or were turned down for a place at Oxford or Cambridge, according to a study led by Professor Sally Power. Academic success, meanwhile, came at the expense of popularity.

"Education and the Middle Class", by Sally Power, Tony Edwards, Geoff Whitty and Valerie Wigfall, Open University Press, pound;17.99.

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