A STUDY OF BOYS' UNDERACHIEVEMENT WITHIN THE OLDHAM FEDERATION
Professor Geoff Lindsay and Professor Daniel Muijs (University of Manchester)
Concerns about boys levels of achievement have replaced similar concerns about girls’ underachievement that were prevalent a decade or so ago. This project was commissioned by the Oldham Leading Edge Partnership of six secondary schools. Concern about boys’ underachievement had led the LEP to target boys in Years 8 and 10 who were considered to be able to achieve five GCSE A* to C grades but who were currently underachieving. The LEP intended to implement a programme of activities designed to motivate the pupils and to improve their achievements. Our study was designed to investigate possible reasons for their apparent underachievement and their response to the LEP’s actions.
The study comprised questionnaires to all the boys and their parents, together with group interviews with about half the boys in the early summer term 2004. Various factors were investigated and differences between schools in terms of pupil responses were identified in a number of cases.
A confidential report was delivered to the LEP for their own purposes and an anonymised version where schools are not identified has been made available for general access through CEDAR and the LEP schools’ websites. Hard copies are available from CEDAR price £5.00 (incl p & p).