This text looks at a wide variety of issues concerned with underachievement in schools. The author uses a case-study school as a framework to show how recent research and theory about underachievement and disadvantage can be applied in practice. She discusses: understanding the concept of underachievement; social class; ethnicity; gender; poverty; family; peer effects; school effects; and the role of schools and policy makers in reducing underachievement.
Anne West is Professor of Educational Policy in the Department of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and is also Director of the Centre for Educational Research. Hazel Pennell is a Research Fellow based in the Centre for Educational Research at the London School of Economics.