education and the levels of inequality. A number

education maintains that all students should have equal opportunities to learn regardless of the racial ethnic,social class or the gender group which they belongfurther there should be an equality in education which provides all the students with the opportunity and the chance to be succeedEducational inequality is the difference that students experience in their education compared to other students. Educational success is measured based on grades, test scores, drop-out rates, college entrance numbers and college completion rates 1 .

In Britain there is increasing concern regarding the fairness of schools and the levels of inequality. A number of studies show that class, race and gender are crucial factors in determining how British pupils succeed at both school and after. Boys are behind girls in 11 out of 13 different learning categories by the young age of 5, black pupils who are from a Caribbean descent are at least three times more likely to be excluded, children from the poorest families are over half as likely to achieve good GCSE grades and four out of five young people who have special needs are being bullied 2 .

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In terms of gender, it is apparent that boys are the “underachievers”, this has been a key topic in education for a number of years. This starts from a young age as shown in reports that show by the age of 5 53% of boys compared to 72% of girls reached the expected level in writing, followed by boys being less likely to achieve a 2:1 or a first at university with a large number failing to go to university. There are three main explanations for the underachievement of boys. Changing masculinities as boys have poorer verbal reasoning skills, mature later and parents do not talk to them as much as their sisters etc.

The teacher and classroom, with criticisms that female teachers impose female values on pupils, spending less time with boys compared to girls and boys being seen to bring another agenda into the classroom by being jokers and risk-takers being noisy becoming the focus of classroom activity. The third reason being assessment and the school curriculum, for example the dominance of literacy-based exams as this can be seen as a highly gendered activity as girls are keener readers who are more likely to be “devoted” to their books 3 .


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