GCSE performance ‘could be inherited’


Inherited intelligence could account for nearly 60 per cent of a pupil’s results at GCSE level, according to new research by a scientist at Kings College London. Based on a long-term study of more than 11,000 twins in England and Wales, the study by Professor Robert Plomin suggests that children’s genes have a “substantial” bearing on their academic performance at the age of 16.

The study, which has not been published yet, analysed GCSE results to find a direct correlation between genetics and more than half of students’ marks in English, maths and science exams. Professor Plomin also believes these genetic advantages increase with age.

“It’s probable that little genetic differences become bigger and bigger as you go through life, creating environments correlated with your genotype,” he told The Spectator. “The simplest way of saying this is that bright kids read more, they hang out with kids who read more.”

The Department for Education is believed to be taking the findings seriously, and may even use them to influence its education reform policy in the future. “As we learn more from science, a decentralised school system with great teachers providing personalised learning will be even more important,” said a spokesperson.

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