Education is Key for Addressing Inequality


This week we saw a report published by the Social Mobility Commission “State of the Nation 2017: “Social Mobility in Great Britain”.

The Commission say Britain is a deeply divided nation. Those divisions take many forms. Class, income, gender, race. In recent years, each has been the subject of much scrutiny. But one form of division that has received far less attention is that based on geography.

From our perspective as the Scottish nation I think the section on Scotland and education performance is very interesting and raises questions for parents and puplis alike.

The report can be found by clicking here.


My reading of the part on Scottish education is that in terms of educational attainment, between the ages of 5-6 and 16 above, Fife goes from the top performer (1st out of 32) to near the bottom of Scotland’s local authorities (28th out of 32).

The local authority that reports the highest educational attainment for children at age five to six is Fife, which has the highest percentage of P1s achieving the expected level of attainment in reading, writing and numeracy. More than 90 per cent of Fife children achieve the expected level in all three subjects, despite an even spread of pupils from different deprivation backgrounds. The only other areas in which more than 90 per cent of children achieve the expected level are Perth and Kinross and East Renfrewshire — two very affluent areas.  But Fife does a lot better than them on all three measurements: 93.8 per cent in Fife achieve the expected level in reading, 93.4 per cent in writing and 96.1 per cent in numeracy — see page 125.

At P7, Fife is still one of the best performers in reading, writing and numeracy.  But then something happens: Fife pupils start to fall into the middle of the pack at secondary school — see page 129.

And then by the time Fife pupils reach post-16 education they are effectively at the bottom, ranking 28 out of 32 on the following youth indicators: the percentage of 16 to 19-year olds participating in education, higher education enrolment, and school leavers achieving 1+ awards at SCQF 5 or better

I have written to the Director of Education in Fife asking the view of the authority is on this report and if they agree that the overall result ie post 16 is poor and what is to be done to address it?



Overall the report is not good and it is my intention to speak with councillors in Clackmannanshire raising these issues and asking the questions on what is being done to address the poor education performance.


Perth and Kinross – Stirling

You will see the report shows both authorities are doing well. This of course does not mean that there is not room for improvement particularly in the areas of deprivation and poverty and I know there is a lot of good work in both authorities

Post Author: Alex Rowley