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Transition from Primary to Secondary School and More Able and Talented (MAT) Disadvantaged Pupils: Evidence from South-east Wales

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In Wales, as in many other education systems, there is an increasing focus on the impact that poverty can have on the educational achievement of disadvantaged pupils. Educational research in this area has included a focus on boys (compared to girls), ethnic minority groups and those with additional learning needs. Little attention, however, has been paid to pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds who have been identified as being more able and talented (MAT). This article reports on a mixed-method research evaluation of such pupils in a sample of schools in south-east Wales in relation to the impact of their transition from primary to secondary education. The findings from the research highlight variations in the definition and identification of MAT learners between primary and secondary schools and a lack of attention to this specific group of learners in school transition plans and policies. This leads the researchers to argue for the need for schools to specifically identify this group of pupils through the transition process and to suggest specific areas where transition practice might be strengthened to cater for their needs. The study supports the limited research that has been undertaken in this area that specific groups of more vulnerable pupils, such as those who are MAT but come from disadvantaged backgrounds, may suffer from shortcomings in the primary to secondary transition process such that it hampers their progression and the realisation of their potential.
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Keywords: DISADVANTAGE; MORE ABLE AND TALENTED; SCHOOLS; TRANSITION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • Previously published under the title University of Wales Journal of Education, this internationally-distributed annual journal offers an arena for disseminating education research from national and international perspectives. The journal explores a range of controversial arguments relating to education, including areas such as bilingualism, religion in education, well-being and the standards of literacy and numeracy. The contemporary drive for improved education standards, within Wales and internationally, provides a wealth of interdisciplinary research opportunities, and the journal aims to publish research reports relating to these current issues. The journal also includes a comprehensive reviews section.

    Mae'r cylchgrawn blynyddol hwn, a adwaenid gynt fel Cylchgrawn Addysg Prifysgol Cymru, yn trafod agweddau datganoledig ar addysg, ynghyd ag ymdrin ag addysg o safbwynt cenedlaethol a rhyngwladol. Wrth ymhel â materion cyfoes yn ymwneud ag addysg, mae'r drafodaeth yn amlinellu safbwyntiau dadleuol ynghylch dwyieithrwydd a chrefydd yn ogystal â safonau llythrennedd a rhifedd. Mae'r ymdrechion i wella safonau addysg yng Nghymru a thu hwnt yn esgor ar feysydd ymchwil newydd, a bwriad y cyfnodolyn yw cyhoeddi erthyglau cryno yn ymdrin â materion cyfredol o'r fath. Mae'r cyfnodolyn hefyd yn cynnwys adran adolygiadau.

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