The Poor will not necessarily Fail at School

The Poor will not necessarily Fail at School


“We tend to overestimate the impact of poverty,” stated Andreas Schleicher from The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development who analyse Pisa tests. This comes after Mr Schleicher discovered that the poorest students in Shanghai achieved the same results as wealthy students in the UK.


However, this is just one piece of information that Mr Schleicher presented, and it was clear that many poorer students in other countries do far better or equal to the wealthiest of children in other areas. For example, the poorest 10% of pupils in Hong Kong achieved higher grades than the wealthiest students in Norway and Sweden.


Following these reports, Education Secretary, Michael Gove, urged that schools in the UK should take individual Pisa exams; enabling effective comparisons to be made between UK students on an international level.



  • Shanghai
  • Hong Kong
  • Macao China
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Japan
  • Taiwan
  • Netherlands
  • Switzerland
  • Canada

Source: OECD


Mr. Schleicher went on to state that his findings

“Debunk the myth that poverty is destiny” and that “we tend to overestimate the impact of poverty,”


Much of the information presented by Mr. Schleicher shows us that there is no direct correlation between coming from a poor background and achieving lower academic grades.

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Mike Hutchins

Mike Hutchins is the founder of Good Morning Children, an on-line company that provides engaging and mentally stimulating resources for primary school children of all ages. Mike started Good Morning Children in 2006 with the aim of the company being to help children develop key thinking and reasoning skills. His qualifications include B.Sc (Engineering) and a PGCE in primary education.

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