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Equity and Quality in Education

Supporting Disadvantaged Students and Schools

image of Equity and Quality in Education

Across OECD countries, almost one in every five students does not reach a basic minimum level of skills. In addition, students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds are twice as likely to be low performers. Lack of fairness and inclusion can lead to school failure and this means that one in every five young adults on average drop out before completing upper secondary education.

Reducing school failure pays off for both society and individuals. The highest performing education systems across OECD countries combine quality with equity. This report presents policy recommendations for education systems to help all children succeed in their schooling.

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Improving low performing disadvantaged schools

This chapter looks at how to improve equity and reduce school failure at the school level. It focuses on low performing disadvantaged schools, to identify the best policy strategies to support their efforts in reducing school failure. It starts by analysing what are the specific challenges schools with high proportions of disadvantaged students face and the reason why they are at risk of low performance. Then, it presents five recommendations to improve the performance of these schools. While they apply to all schools, they are particularly relevant for low performing disadvantaged schools, where they may be harder to achieve but can deliver improvements: developing and supporting specialised school leadership; fostering a positive and supportive school environment; training, recruiting and retaining competent teachers; ensuring effective learning strategies; and finally linking parents and communities with these schools for sustainable improvement.

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