There’s much more to life than being top of the class
By Anna Maxted
With a sharp yank on the tail of every Tiger parent, researchers at the London School of Economics claimed this week that children might do better at a “worse school” than an academic one. Far from encouraging less intelligent pupils to achieve, being surrounded by ferociously intellectual classmates can destroy their confidence – whereas being top of the year in a school with lower standards can boost self-esteem and performance.
Dr Felix Weinhardt, who co-wrote the report, said: “Our findings go against the common assumption that having better peers is always the best for children… there are situations where your child will be better off from not going to the school with high-performing peers, especially for boys.”
Scanning the report with sweat on my brow, I discover that investigation analysed the academic performance of over two million pupils in English, maths and science. Is it possible that hot-housing your darling into that selective school was not only a waste of time and shouting, but could ruin him, academically and emotionally?
.........It was a gratifying response. If your child tries hard, and can withstand a few knocks, then confidence – and achievement – will follow. Success in life is rarely about being the cleverest.