Education Topic 4 - Educational Attainment and Social Class


The most significant influence on educational attainment is not intelligence but social background. Intelligence is equal spread amongst classes, genders and ethnicities. However, the working classes, boys and those from certain ethnic groups will generally achieve lower than children of professional people, girls and people from other ethnic groups.

Social class

  • Britain is a class-based society. Whilst many people would like to believe that everyone has an equal chance in society, this is not the case

  • Those who are born into lower and poorer sections of society have limited chances of escaping from their hardship and those born into wealthy, privileged families will tend to succeed in life

  • Sociologists definitions of "social class" can differ, but it is generally accepted that people who are professionals, educated and in good jobs make up the "middle class" and those who are less well educated, qualified in practical skills and work for other people are "working class"

  • The link between parental education and work and children's success in school is clear - those who are very


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