Research and analysis

Pupils' perceptions shape educational achievement

Study into the perception of rewards when a pupil's answers are corrected by an unknown external examiner rather than his/her teacher.

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Differences in educational achievement between boys and girls, ethnic groups, and recipients of free school meals are substantial. For example, the number of boys getting 5 or more A to C GCSEs is about 6% lower than girls.

The objective this research is to study the perceptions of rewards when a pupil’s answers are corrected by an anonymous external examiner compared to when he/she is corrected by his/her teacher. It consists of evidence from a large-scale behavioural economics experiment. Pupils are rewarded based on answers to questions where there is discretion in teachers’ marking practices.