IOE EPrints

The incidence and make up of ability grouped sets in the UK primary school

Hallam, Sue and Parsons, Sam (2012) The incidence and make up of ability grouped sets in the UK primary school. Research Papers in Education, 28 (4). pp. 393-420. ISSN 0267-1522. DOI UNSPECIFIED

Setting.pdf - Submitted Version

Download (516Kb) | Preview


The adoption of setting in the primary school (pupils ability grouped across classes for particular subjects) emerged during the 1990s as a means to raise standards. Recent research based on 8875 children in the Millennium Cohort Study showed that 25.8% of children in Year 2 were set for literacy and mathematics and a further 11.2% of children were set for mathematics or literacy alone. Logistic regression analysis showed that the best predictors of being in the top set for literacy or mathematics were whether the child was born in the Autumn or Winter and cognitive ability scores. Boys were significantly more likely than girls to be in the bottom literacy set. Family circumstances held less importance for setting placement compared with the child’s own characteristics, although they were more important in relation to bottom set placement. Children in bottom sets were significantly more likely to be part of a long-term single parent household, have experienced poverty, and not to have a mother with qualifications at NVQ3 or higher levels. The findings are discussed in relation to earlier research and the implications for schools are set out.

Item Type: Article
Controlled Keywords: ABILITY GROUPING, cohort, primary education
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Centre for Longitudinal Studies
IOE Departments > Departments > Lifelong and Comparative Education
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2013 01:56
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 08:56
View Item View Item