CHARTER SCHOOLS-BEST FOR PUPIL SUPPORT?

SUTTON TRUST LOOKS TO CHARTER SCHOOLS  AND KIPP TO IMPROVE SOCIAL MOBILITY

 Charter model cited in new report

 Comment

 A recent report from the Sutton Trust, which campaigns for social mobility and a better education for disadvantaged children, found that children of parents with degrees report that they spend, on average, twice as much time on homework, reading and study in the home, as children from less well educated families.

 One third (34%) of 15-year olds whose parents had little or no formal education claim that no homework or almost none is ever set for them, compared with only 10% of those with graduate parents. Middle class children are also over four times as likely to say they have more than 200 books in the home, two and a half times as likely to have a computer and twice as likely to attend day time and after school clubs once a week. They are also much more likely to borrow books from a public library.

 The research was carried out by Durham and Oxford Universities and is based on data from CEM (Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring) at Durham University and the ONS (Office for National Statistics) UK 2000 Time Use Survey.

 The findings echo previous research by the Trust which found that almost one quarter of young people had received private tuition, and this was particularly prevalent in better off families. Previous research has also highlighted that parents from higher social groups are more likely to help their children with homework and engage in school activities. The report highlights that these stark gaps in education time and resources outside school are one of the main drivers behind the persistent attainment gap between middle class children and their less privileged counterparts that continues to blight the country, although not all Academics agree that more homework is an effective method of improving academic performance. However few doubt the importance of parental support. Significantly, the Trust looks to the United States and the Charter model as a means of addressing this particular challenge.

 KIPP schools in the US, the Trust believes, make up for deficits outside the school gates, with extended curriculum time, enrichment activities, the highest quality teachers and a strong work ethic. The KIPP model is one frequently cited too by the Tories education team and the New Schools Network as an effective model, particular for disadvantaged areas.

 Some UK Education companies are currently looking carefully at the Charter model too and have been looking at investment opportunities in the States .The Tories challenge is to   develop an attractive Free Schools model  here  in the UK to ensure that these companies support these new schools here, rather than invest  all their money and efforts abroad. 

 More details on the Knowledge is Power Programme (KIPP) can be found at http://www.kipp.org. The findings of the Trust’s work on private tuition can be found at http://www.suttontrust.com/reports/Mori080609.pdf and its work on parental aspirations at www.suttontrust.com/reports/MORIaspirations.pdf.

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