Genetics, not schools, determine academic success

A King’s College London study conducted recently has found that grammar or private schools have virtually no effect because genetics determine academic success. The researchers examined the genetic differences between students who attend selective and non-selective schools, and analysed their GCSE results.

They found that children who attend grammar or private schools are more likely to do well in exams – but this is largely down to their genes, rather than their school environment. The study identifies the vast array of factors – all of which are genetically influenced – that have an impact on exam performance, such as intelligence, personality, motivation, health and wellbeing.

However, it is still too early to tell exactly how much genetic factors have an impact on the difference between exam results in selective and non-selective schools. In addition, future research is needed to identify if school type makes a difference in other outcomes, such as university entrance and career success.

At the end of the day, the jury is still out on this. The debate between nature and nurture is one that has been going on for a long time. Perhaps it is more pertinent to remember that what matters most is that the child is able to learn as effectively as he can, regardless of what school he or she goes to. This echoes Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s and the Singapore Ministry of Education’s belief that “every school is a good school”. The goal in education is to recognise that each child is unique, and “provide every child with the opportunity to develop holistically and maximise his or her potential”.

If you want to find out more about this study, click the following link:

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