Press Notice: Durham ‘Academic Value Added’ Report – HMC comment

Independent school pupils gain extra two years by 16, research reveals

Attending an independent school in England is associated with the equivalent of two additional years of schooling by the age of 16, new research reveals.

The 'academic value added' report by the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) at Durham University, is the first of its type. It looks at the differences in attainment between pupils who are educated in independent and state schools from junior or prep school through to GCSE, controlling for differences such as prior ability, socioeconomic status and gender.

Chris King, Chair of HMC and Headmaster of Leicester Grammar School said:

“This is a particularly important piece of research which resets the dial on understanding how well pupils perform at different types of schools.

“It is now proven beyond reasonable doubt that independent schools add significant value to children’s education even when their socio economic background is discounted.  Whilst independent schools have more resource, this cannot fully explain the higher standards they achieve. Great teaching and a holistic education is what truly matters.

“We can only hope that this informs what can be a sterile debate about the very important issue of social mobility and brings acknowledgement that independent education can bring better outcomes for any child. The way to improve education for all pupils is to find out why that is and bring the independent sector in to decision making about how to achieve educational excellence."

Click here to view the full report.

Click here to view the accompanying press release.