Bright 15-year-olds from the poorest homes are lagging more than two years behind their richer peers, a study suggests.
Dr John Jerrim of the Institute of Education analysed reading results of able teenagers in 23 countries. His findings suggest the gap between bright rich and poor children in England and Scotland are twice that of most other countries.
He called for action to help clever children from poor homes succeed. Dr Jerrim said he had essentially been comparing the reading scores of the children of labourers and those of lawyers and doctors and argued that it was vital to narrow the gap.