Early-Years Multi-Grade Classes and Pupil Attainment

Daniel Borbely, Markus Gehrsitz (Lead / Corresponding author), Gennaro Rossi, Stuart McIntyre, Graeme Roy

Research output: Working paper/PreprintDiscussion paper

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We study the effect of exposure to older, more experienced classroom peers resulting from the widespread use of multi-grade classes in Scottish primary schools. For identification, we exploit that a class-planning algorithm quasi-randomly assigns groups of pupils to multi-grade classes. We find that school-starters benefit from exposure to second-graders in measures of numeracy and literacy. We find no evidence that these gains are driven by smaller class sizes or more parental input. While short-lived, these benefits accrue independent of socioeconomic background, to boys and girls alike, and do not come at the
expense of older peers from the preceding cohort.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Publication series

NameIZA Discussion Papers Series


  • multi-grade classes
  • cognitive skills
  • peer effects
  • class-size


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