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Bright but disadvantaged students are far less likely to take the subjects favoured by Russell Group universities than their more advantaged counterparts, according Oxford University research.

Helping the bright disadvantaged to achieve

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The research shows that only one third of bright but disadvantaged students took one or more A-level exams in what the Russell Group defines as ‘facilitating subjects’ such as Maths, English, the sciences, humanities or modern languages, compared with 58% of their more advantaged counterparts.

The research by Professor Pam Sammons, Dr Katalin Toth and Professor Kathy Sylva, from the Oxford University Department of Education, is based on data from more than 3,000 young people tracked through school since the age of three for the Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education (EPPSE) project.

It identifies how bright disadvantaged pupils can improve their chances of gaining good grades at A-level, and finds that grades are generally higher of pupils who take trips to museums and galleries, and read for pleasure. Pupils in the habit of doing daily homework were found to be nine times more likely to gain three A-levels.

Read more on the University website (opens new window)

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