1. ITV Report

Nearly half of top performing schools are 'socially selective'

Credit: PA

Nearly half of the top performing schools in Wales are 'socially selective' and accept fewer disadvantaged pupils.

The 40 state schools where pupils are most likely to get five good GCSEs, admit almost half the the number of disadvantaged pupils than the average state school.

While some of the gap is due to catchment area policy, the trust says a large proportion of it is due to schools being selective about pupils.

It says the percentage of disadvantaged pupils given a space in the top schools does not reflect the local community.

of pupils in the top 40 schools in Wales are from disadvantaged backgrounds.
of pupils in the average state schools in Wales are from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Sutton Trust says Welsh medium cater to 'more advantaged' families.

All Welsh medium schools have a lower proportion of disadvantaged pupils, whether they are the the top performing or not.

The Charity is calling for changes in the admissions process, including prioritising disadvantaged pupils and providing better information and outreach to parents in deprived areas.

It says it will help improve access to the best school in Wales.

Getting a place at a good school is key to getting on in life. Yet the bottom line is that in Wales your chances of doing that depends on your parents' income and whether they can afford to live in an affluent area.

This is why we want to see more use of ballots - where a proportion of places is allocated randomly - as well as a focus on improving the quality of teaching in all schools, particularly those in the most disadvantaged areas.

– Sir Peter Lampl, Sutton Trust

The report also recommends that local authorities, particularly in urban areas, should consider a system with fewer incentives for middle class parents to buy homes in the catchment areas of top schools.