The RSE’s Education Committee has responded to the Scottish Parliament Education and Skills’ Committee inquiry into the attainment and achievement of school-aged children experiencing poverty. While schools undoubtedly have a significant role to play in supporting the needs of disadvantaged learners, school-based interventions alone will not address the wider determinants of educational under-achievement. As well as highlighting school-based interventions that have been found to be effective in closing the attainment gap, the RSE emphasises the importance of high quality early years interventions for improving outcomes for disadvantaged children.
The RSE Education Committee notes that the National Improvement Framework’s overriding focus on literacy and numeracy, including the new national standardised assessments, could lead to performance in these areas being regarded as proxies for attainment, and consequently drive behaviour in the education system. It will be important to ensure that what constitutes attainment and achievement is not restricted to those things that are capable of easy measurement.
The RSE’s full response is available here.