According to researchers at the Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO) at Bristol University, London’s success is less to do with innovative education policy and more to do with the diversity of the city’s population, and in particular the ethnic composition of pupils in London. Previously it had been asserted that it was the focussing of attention and resources, via the London Challenge, that had helped raise the achievement levels of London’s youngsters.
Professor Simon Burgess, who led the research, said: “It sounds somehow uninspiring and disappointing that the London attainment premium is largely accounted for by demographic composition rather than wholly caused by some innovative policy. I disagree. It can be seen as a story of aspiration and ambition.” This controversial new study has certainly given politicians some pause for thought. The mantra that ‘The London Challenge changed everything’ will itself have to be changed in the light of this report. You can read the Guardian’s account of this story here: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/nov/12/london-gcse-success-ethnic-diversity-schools