General Article How do disadvantaged children succeed against the odds?

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By Iram Siraj-Blatchford1, Aziza Mayo1, Edward Melhuish2, Brenda Taggart1, Pam Sammons3 and Kathy Sylva3

The highly-respected Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education (EPPSE) 3-16 project has followed the progress of more than 3,000 children since 1997, from the age of three to 16. Its new report on performing against the odds shows how parents, teachers, networks of family and friends and children themselves interact and contribute to young people’s success, even when the children are from working class backgrounds.
The research highlights the importance of recruiting the best teachers to schools in disadvantaged communities and demonstrates that additional support classes are crucial for the children in these schools. The researchers also say that schools and communities should provide extra educational experiences for ‘vulnerable’ children.
They found that teachers who helped these children were able to explain clearly and were appro

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