Euro 2012 warning over exam results
Published 02/12/2011 | 19:52
Euro 2012 may bring the country together in support of the nation's football team, but it could also damage teenagers' GCSE results, research has suggested.
The research says that students who take the exams during a major football tournament are more likely to end up with worse results.
Researchers, led by Robert Metcalfe at Oxford University, looked at the GCSE results of three and half million pupils between 2002 and 2008 and performance during football tournaments.
GCSE exams take place in May and early June, and therefore often overlap with these competitions, the study says.
The findings show students dropped, on average, a quarter of a grade in each exam taken during a major football competition. And while both boys and girls were affected, poor boys were affected the most, the study found.
Dr Metcalfe suggested that in even years, when tournaments are held, there are "increased inequalities".
"For the most affected, which are disadvantaged boys, they have a much larger drop, the effect is doubled."
It means this group can drop about half a grade in each exam taken during a competition.
Dr Metcalfe said: "It shows how important short term, last minute effort is."
He added: "Students have control over one thing, how much effort they provide, and we don't spend enough time on that. Time spent watching and talking about football is clearly time not spent studying - so our findings give an indication of just how much student effort matters for achievement at GCSE."