Subject choices vital in closing the gap in Scotland

The TES is reporting that new research that suggests the Scottish government’s drive to close the attainment gap will fail to boost the life chances of deprived children because many are not choosing the right subjects.

The University of Edinburgh researchers call for academic subjects such as English, maths, sciences and languages to be compulsory for longer and for schools to give pupils better advice about the long-term implications of their decisions.

Scotland celebrates 50 years of comprehensive schooling this year, but lead researcher Cristina Iannelli, professor of education and social stratification at the University of Edinburgh, said pupils were being set on different tracks according to social class.

Subject selection followed a social pattern, she said, with children from disadvantaged backgrounds more likely to choose options such as business or technical education. They were less likely to choose traditional subjects that led to university study and higher-paid jobs…

Read more in this week’s TES

More at: SCOTLAND: Subject choice is vital in improving children’s life chances, researchers say

 

Read or download the report on this from the University of Edinburgh:

Subject-choice-and-inequalities-in-access-to-Higher-Education-Comparing-Scotland-and-Ireland

 

The research compares the situation in Scotland and Ireland and notes that social inequalities in entry to higher education are mostly explained by subject choice in Scotland whereas they are more strongly associated with academic performance in Ireland.

What do you make of this and what implications might it have for the Scottish government’s pledge to close the attainment gap?

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Categories: Higher Education, Research, Scotland and Secondary.

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