Research shows GCSE results suffer during a summer football tournament


Thousands of 16-year-olds across Britain received their GCSE results today.

What next for them?

College, sixth-form or full-time work?

But one thing is for sure, they simply had no excuse for bad results.

Ok, they may be a bit harsh but the class of 2019 had an advantage by not having the distraction of a summer football tournament while they were trying to revise and sit their exams.

An in-depth study from academics Robert Metcalfe, Simon Burgess and Steven Proud has compared GCSE results in the 2000s for all teenagers in England during tournament years, to years where there are no major footballing distractions.

The result?

The chances of achieving the vital give GCSE’s fell by 12%.


The Guardian reports that this applies to both girls and boys as they both perform worse than expected.

However, it’s claimed that working-class white boys underachieve to the extent where the odds of them getting five GCSE grades dips by 28 per cent.

“We study the effect of a sharp, exogenous, and repeated change in the value of leisure on educational achievement, arising from the overlap of major International football tournaments with high-stakes tests," the in-depth study read.


“Using administrative data covering almost all students in England, we find a significant negative average effect of the tournament on exam performance. The odds of reaching the achievement benchmark fall by 12% on average, considerable more for students likely to be interested in football.”

Of course, if you’re sitting your GCSEs during a summer tournament then you’re likely be sitting your A-Levels two years later - during another tournament - if that’s the path you wish you go down.

Maybe a winter World Cup in Qatar in 2022 isn’t such a bad idea after all…

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