Consultation on the educational attainment gap in schools

Date: 12th January 2015

The Scottish Parliament's Education and Culture Committee is undertaking work on the educational attainment gap in schools and is seeking written evidence.

The Committee is seeking written submissions on the following three topics:
- the implications for schools, teachers and pupils of the Commission for Developing Scotland's Young Workforce.
- the role of the third sector and the private sector in improving attainment for all school pupils, particularly those whose attainment is lowest.
- how parents (including guardians) and schools can best work together to raise all pupils' attainment, particularly those whose attainment is lowest.

The Committee then plans to hold evidence sessions on these topics. Detailed information on the Committee's work, how to make a written submission, deadlines and evidence sessions is available on their website.

Once all written submissions have been received, the Committee will hold meetings at the Scottish Parliament to discuss the topics above in more depth.

In connection with Session 3 (above), the Committee is running an online survey seeking parents' views about how schools work with them to support their children's learning. The survey is aimed at parents and guardians who currently have children in Scottish schools, and will run until 7th March 2015. Results will be summarised for the evidence session in question.

Together's 2014 State of Children's Rights report highlighted that children's organisations remain concerned that children living in poverty are experiencing significant violations of their rights to education. There is a considerable and stubborn gap in educational achievement between children living in poverty and their peers and inequalities in access to educational and learning opportunities - in and out of school. The report refers to recent research in this area as well as the Scottish Government Child Poverty Strategy, of which a strategic focus is reducing educational inequalities and closing the attainment gap.

Under Articles 28 and 29 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), UK governments have an obligation to recognise the right of every child to education on the basis of equal opportunity, and that such education shall be directed to the development of a child's personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential.