GCSE Scores and Poverty in London

This week, thousands of teenagers across the capital will receive GCSE results that will likely have an impact on the life decisions they take over the coming years. Back in March the full list of the 2010 GCSE results were released and I mapped them alongside an indicator of child poverty. As the graph below shows, unfortunately it continues to be the case that that a pupil’s level of deprivation has a stark impact on his/her attainment.

London has some of the richest and some of the poorest pupils in the country; this is something I have attempted to show in the map by re-scaling the area of each of the London Boroughs by its level of child poverty (measured by number of under 16s receiving means-tested benefits) and colouring it by the percentage of pupils that achieve 5 A* to C (or equivalent) GCSE grades. The map above is not perfect as it is still quite generalised and shows only one of the many measures of child poverty that are used but I think it is demonstrative of one of the many hurdles that teachers have to overcome to help their pupils achieve academic success (on paper at least). I have written more detailed post on these results over at spatial analysis.


  1. I would argue that this analysis is not all that it seems, it shows the location of the results of the schools, but not where the pupils are from.
    For example, many of the pupils at my school in Sutton were from other London boroughs, Croydon, Merton, even as far as Lambeth, Wandsworth, Southwark.
    They were driven to my school because of a lack of ‘good’ schools in their own areas, and the reputation that the many grammar schools that exist in Sutton have.

  2. Yes, I totally agree with your comments. These results are good, but they don’t take into account the entire population. For example I live in the City of Westminster and commute to a school in Redbridge. As the map shows Redbridge out performs Westminster-mainly because of the number of grammar schools (there are also good state schools aswell).

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