Reviews of National Policies for Education: Scotland 2007

Quality and Equity of Schooling in Scotland

Scotland consistently performs at a very high standard in OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and has one of the most equitable school systems in the OECD. This review examines the strengths of Scotland’s schools and the challenges they face in securing high standards for all children. One major challenge is an achievement gap that opens up late in primary education and widens through junior secondary years: children from poorer backgrounds are more likely than others to under-achieve. A second challenge for Scotland is to achieve broader and more successful participation in upper secondary education and greater equity in higher education. The review assesses the performance of Scottish schools, using PISA findings and national test and examination results. It also examines educational reforms in Scotland in the light of reforms in countries facing similar challenges.

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