Gender and attainment in Northern Ireland: How can we understand the division?

Research output: Other contributionpeer-review


Post-primary attainment is commonly measured through GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) examinations which are completed in the final year of compulsory schooling in the UK at age 16. The GCSE attainment outcomes of pupils are annually reported in Northern Ireland by the Department of Education. They are presented according to school type (grammar schools which select pupils based on their academic ability on an entrance test (also known as the transfer test) or non-grammar schools which are not academically selective in their intake of pupils), socio-economic status (Free School Meal Eligibility) and gender. The gendered division in educational attainment in Northern Ireland continually receives policy attention, most recently from the Expert Panel on Educational Underachievement in Northern Ireland. This leaves the questions: what is the gender attainment divide, and how can we understand it?
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished online - 2022


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