Schools should encourage pupils with poor grades to mix with stronger students if they want to keep them in education, suggests a study

Positive parental and friendship group influences are key to cutting drop-out rates, according to Arizona State University research. The researchers interviewed vulnerable students at a Chicago high school.

Parents’ influence fell if pupils had too much contact with other disaffected students, the researchers found. The researchers spoke to 125 pupils, aged 15 to 18, at a school with one of the worst drop-out rates in the city and analysed their records. They concluded that students’ academic achievement was directly related to the level of parental involvement “more than any factors”. But they also found that if vulnerable students had too much contact with peers with a negative view of education, “the effect of parental involvement on the dynamics of dropouts becomes negligible”. Read More