A parent's background has more impact on a child's educational achievement in England than in many other developed countries, according to a research.

The study, commissioned by the Sutton Trust, found that the gap between the test results of children born to educated parents and those born to uneducated parents was bigger in England than in Australia, Germany and the US. Researchers at Essex University's Institute for Social and Economic Research looked at test scores of thousands of children born in 1989/90 and compared them with results of equivalent tests taken by children born at a similar time in other nations. The findings show that in England, 56 per cent of children of degree educated parents were in the top 25 per cent of tests at age 14, compared with just nine per cent of youngsters whose parents left school without any O-levels - a gap of 47 percentage points.

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