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The drivers of educational attainment are complex. On the one hand, a child’s lot in life can be dramatically improved when they are exposed to excellent school teaching. For example, pupils from poorer backgrounds in Britain have been shown to gain 1.5 years’ worth of learning in a single year when taught by very effective teachers, compared to only 0.5 years with badly performing teachers.
In previous decades the UK’s education system has been targeted for numerous reforms, but in many ways its potential has barely been tapped. The biggest failure of today’s vision of educational reform is its inability to see schools as the generators of social, political and economic capital that they could be.
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