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Mixed blessings

EVEN primary pupils understand the rationale behind the ability-grouping methods used by their teachers, according to a University of London study.

Most children feel that the grouping systems in their school work well, say the researchers who interviewed staff, governors and pupils from six primaries that adopted a range of approaches - including setting and streaming.

Butmore than 40 per cent of the children said that pupils of higher or lower-than-average academic ability were teased. Lower-ability pupils were more likely to experience teasing in schools with setting or streaming, while able children were vulnerable in schools with mixed-ability classes.

Pupils in mixed-ability groups were also less able to assess their own ability.

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