Press Release

Disadvantaged pupils perform better in London due to earlier improvements in primary schools

Date: 23 June 2014
Publisher: Institute for Fiscal Studies

The research for this report was carried out jointly with the Institute of Education.

Disadvantaged pupils have higher academic attainment in London than in other regions in England and have pulled even further ahead over the past decade, particularly in inner London. This has often been referred to as the ‘London effect’. In new IFS research published today, we show that this higher level and improvement in performance is unlikely to have been driven by improvements in secondary schools. Instead, we argue that the roots of the London effect lie much earlier, with rapid improvements in pupil performance in London’s primary schools in the late 1990s and early 2000s.