The Lost Middle: how the term ‘average’ can obscure student problems and potential

If you were asked what an average grade was in the new GCSEs, what would the answer be? Is it a standard pass, a 4, or a good pass, a 5? Or is it potentially any score from 3, a near miss, to a 7, an approximate B in old money?

The answer will depend on expectations and context. But there is no doubt that thanks to the overhaul of GCSEs and the addition of more granular grading, our understanding of ‘average’ has been officially stretched.

This report shows that while ‘average’ may be convenient statistical shorthand, for teachers and students it has distinct limitations. It won’t give teachers the granular information they need to overcome learning barriers or unlock students’ potential.

So what does ‘average’ actually mean? What are the risks of considering a child to be ‘average’? And what can we do about it? Our report attempts to answer these questions.

Read the report here

The Telegraph -
Children considered ‘average’ miss out as teachers focus elsewhere, report warns


TES - Labelling children ‘average’ harms their GCSE grades, experts warn


What does average actually mean?

By Poppy Ionides, Educational Psychologist



The risks of considering a child to be ‘average’

By Beccie Hawes, Head of Service at Rushall's Inclusion Advisory Service


The middle child: Analysing data in an EAL context

By Nicola Lambros, Deputy Head, King’s College Madrid


Average with flashes of brilliance

By Dr Adam Boddison, Chief Executive, nasen