A fuller picture of what a ‘good’ school is

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Authored by

Jean Gross

A  new study shows that schools which promote relationships, resilience and belonging have a bigger impact on the long-term success of pupils from disadvantaged or minority ethnic backgrounds than those which just raise attainment test scores.

The study looked at over 150,000 ninth-grade students who attended Chicago public schools between 2011 and 2017, analysing test scores and administrative records. They also examined responses on an annual survey students completed on social and emotional development and school climate. The survey covered a range of topics, including peer relationships and students’ sense of belonging. In the schools that promoted social and emotional development there were fewer absences, and more students graduated and went on to college. The benefits were greatest for student populations who struggled the most in school