Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has recently said, ‘Improving school attainment is arguably the single most important objective in this programme for Government (Parliamentary address, 1 September 2015). Scotland’s levels of academic attainment have become an increasing focus for debate amid continuing concerns that children living in the most deprived areas in Scotland are ‘6 to 13 months behind their peers in problem-solving at age 5; 11 to 18 months behind their peers in expressive vocabulary at age 5; and around two years of schooling behind their peers at age 15’ (Scottish Government, 2014a: 5). The link between educational disadvantage and low levels of attainment is well documented in many countries, but particularly troubling in the UK, where overall levels of inequality are greater than in many other OECD countries, including Sweden. This paper draws on recent research in three fields of interest, namely student participation, home-school relationships and relationships within school, to explore the challenges for education in improving overall attainment. It considers how these fields of interest connect with each other and with issues of inequality and, finally, argues that they each has the potential to offer a new set of ‘guidewires’ for tackling this challenge.
- social justice
- attainment gap
- parental involvement
- pupil participation
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- Moray House School of Education and Sport - Personal Chair of School Exclusion and Restorative Practice
- Global Justice Academy
- Centre for Research in Education Inclusion and Diversity (CREID)
- Institute for Education, Community & Society
- Childhood & Youth
- Identities & Inequalities
Person: Academic: Research Active