Exam results of teens 'influenced more by parents than schools'

   Mar 26, 5:12 pm

London, Mar 26 (ANI): The exam result of teenagers is more likely to be influenced by their parents than their school, a new study has claimed.

Figures show that a child's family background has a larger bearing on their chances of doing well at the age of 16 or 17 than teachers.

The parental effect on test results is around five times more powerful than the influence of pupils' schooling, it was revealed.

The findings come amid continuing concerns over poor parenting.

Speaking last week, the head of Ofsted warned that too many teachers were being asked to act as "surrogate parents" to "make up for much wider failings within families and communities".

Sir Michael Wilshaw said that schools had to step in to provide moral guidance because many children "grow up without the family, cultural and community values they need to thrive".

However, the latest findings will raise questions over the extent to which schools can be expected to make significant improvements to pupils' results without the necessary backing from mothers and fathers.

The study, led by Arnaud Chevalier from the University of London, analysed data for teenagers at Danish schools between 2002 and 2010.

It compared pupils who were forced to change school at the age of 16 to brothers or sisters who remained in the same secondary throughout their teenage years.

Using the data, they tested the differences in pupils' exam results between the two stages to assess the relative influence of various factors such as children's school, families and individual pupil characteristics.

The study found that the parental impact on results was far higher than that for schools themselves.

"Half of the variation in test scores is attributable to shared family factors, while schools only account for 10 per cent," the Telegraph quoted the study as saying.

The remaining variation was down to pupils themselves.

According to the researchers, the effect of families on test scores remained the same irrespective of household income.

It also revealed that the influence of parents mattered most in maths and science exams.

"While previous research has shown that both school and home are important, their relative impact is still relatively unknown. This information can be used to understand how policies could be introduced to improve pupils' achievement," the study added.

The study will be presented at the Royal Economic Society. (ANI)

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