Exploring the relationship between socioeconomic status and participation and attainment in science education

16 December 2008

The UK education system should strive to ensure that all young people can be successful in science, and that those with motivation and talent should be able to achieve excellence.

Where there is good evidence that some groups of young people are not getting sufficient opportunities for success, action needs to be taken. Investigations into the relationships between a young person’s gender or ethnic background and their performance in science at school have identified key groups who appear to be at a particular disadvantage and have led to the implementation of supportive strategies. But the question of whether socioeconomic status (SES) is preventing some young people of talent achieving their potential in science remains relatively unexplored.