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Unfair choice

A quarter of London pupils are not admitted to their first choice secondary, research shows. Nationally, 85 per cent of pupils are given their first choice; 93 per cent receive their first or second preference. The researchers from Sheffield Hallam University say socio-economic status is not a factor in the fairness of admissions. They say that faith and grammar schools help segregation between rich and poor. They suggest that phasing out grammar schools would make the system fairer for poorer pupils.

Early depression

One in five pupils grows more unhappy at primary school. And those in deprived areas are more likely to be depressed, bullied and under-achieving than their counterparts in middle-class schools. Academics from the Institute of Education studying pupils in Avon found that working-class boys between 8 and 10 who struggle academically are the most likely to be unhappy and to have a negative view of themselves.

Parents behave well

Parenting classes can improve relations with teachers. Researchers from Warwick University interviewed staff at 20 local authorities involved in a pilot project offering the classes. They found they led to improved teacher-parent relationships and better pupil behaviour. The researchers, who were commissioned by the government, said this could have a positive effect on pupil achievement.

www.dcsf.gov.ukresearch.

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