presentation - Education and Employers Taskforce

Poverty and school leavers’ in Glasgow
secondary schools
Stephen McKinney, Stuart Hall, Kevin Lowden
University of Glasgow
Education and Employers Taskforce
Research conference 2014
Selected Aims of Study
 To explore the relationship between deprivation
and attainment (exam performance) and
deprivation and school leaver destinations
among pupils in Glasgow secondary schools.
 To undertake further research (case studies) into
schools that appear to ‘buck the trend’ in relation
to either deprivation and exam performance
and/or leaver destinations.
Background: Poverty
 Approx 1 in 4 people
in Glasgow classified as
income deprived (Scottish average: 1 in 7 = 14%
of population) (Green, 2007; Burnett and McKendrick. 2007 ).
 Children born into deprivation are most likely to
be trapped in cycle of deprivation. School
advancement/mobility important part of antideprivation initiatives. (House of Commons Scottish Affairs
Committee 2008).
 Attainment and leaver destination data identified
for three years (2006/7, 2007/8, 2008/9) and
figures aggregated for these years. Advantage of
increasing the numbers of pupils included in the
research and reducing the potential effects of
year on year variations.
 Creation of new measure of deprivation POVAR2
which is based on three existing proxy measures
of deprivation.
 Aiming to repeat exercise this year for 20102013.
School Leaver Destinations
 The importance of school leaver destination was
noted in the Child Poverty project (2009):
For children and young people living in poverty,
employment is often the main means of attaining
a better life. Youth employment promotes social
integration and citizenship, and benefits
economic development.
We reviewed school leaver destination data for
2006 – 2009.
 There is a significant negative association between
deprivation and attainment in Glasgow secondary
 There is a significant positive association between
deprivation and leaver destinations (excluding HE)
 Some schools serving poorer areas are leading the
way in terms of the proportion of pupils going onto
positive destinations their first post school opportunity.
 Schools may be more able to impact on leaver
destinations than attainment. This may be an
important finding for education and anti-deprivation
Qualitative Method
 Sample: 5 secondary schools in Glasgow
 Schools A, B, C, D and E.
 Schools A and C are denominational; B,D and E are
 Key informants Interviews June/July 2011.
 Semi-structured interviews by two members of research
 All interviews recorded and transcribed for analysis
 Interviews designed to establish what methods of
intervention were being used; how they were
measured; personnel involved; barriers encountered.
Group 1
Group 2
 Schools B, C and E.
 Schools A and D
 Schools B, C and E all
have high success rate
with initial leaver
 This is despite high levels
of deprivation
 Schools B and C work in
close partnership
 High levels of
 Less successful with
initial leaver
Sample - Interviewees
 School A
 Deputy Head Teacher
 School B
 Head Teacher
 Principal Teacher
Pastoral Care and
Careers coordinator
 Skills Development
Scotland e/e
 School C
 Deputy Head Teacher
 School D
 Head Teacher
 Former Employment
 School E
 Deputy Head Teacher
 Principal teacher of
Enterprise, Employability
and Partnership
Socio-economic context of the school
Socially challenged families and areas
Cuts in school budgets and external staff
Employability and sustainable futures
Rise in University tariff and University fees
Cuts in College provision
Personnel involved
 Importance of leadership and designated staff
 Collaboration with external partners
Nature of intervention
 Intervention at an early age
 Targeted intervention
Personnel involved: Importance of
Leadership – Shared Vision
 Vision of expectation
The staff in the school…definitely do
their utmost and they are rigorous in
terms of providing quality education,
in setting high standards for the
children, high standards as soon as
they come in the door – in terms of
their learning, in terms of their
conduct, in terms of their expectations
about quality, about presentation,
about working with others, about
respect, about basically only the best
will do (DHT school C).
 Vision of inclusivity
I am absolutely committed one
hundred percent to positive leavers
destinations…all I want is young
people to achieve their potential and
if that’s University then that’s the
focus, if that’s going into a training
position, that’s the focus (HT school
Personnel involved: Importance of
Leadership - Vision and Operation
 Commitment of HT
 ‘socially just approach’ (Thomson, 2010).
 vision of expectation and inclusivity
 Essential support from:
 Other members of school leadership
 Members of teaching teams
 Collaboration with external partners
 Allocation of resource?
Personnel involved: Importance of
Leadership - Operation
 Schools B and E funded school posts
 Principal Teacher of pastoral Care and careers
coordinator (B)
 Teacher of skills for life, skills for work and skills for
learning (B)
 Principal teacher of Enterprise, Employability and
Partnership (E)
 Schools B and E funded more time from external
 Careers Advisor for two extra days (E)
 Careers advisor for one extra day (B)
Personnel involved: Importance of
leadership - Operation
 Group 1
 Group 2
 Leaders work with
 Work with wider teaching
designated members of staff
– funded internal posts
 Devolved responsibility for
operational matters and
working with external
 External partners important –
extra time funded by school
 Working in close
collaboration with school
 More intensive contact on
individual basis with young
team – no funded internal
 Some responsibility for
operation resides with
 Problematic: school D
charismatic leader on
secondment (Griffiths, 2008)
 External partners important –
no extra time funded
 Looked to external partners
for some of the intensive
contact on individual basis,
but more autonomous
Further Research
 Publications
 This research project
intends to further
McKinney, S.J., Hall, S., Lowden,
K., McClung, M. and Cameron, L.
(2012) The relationship between
poverty and deprivation, educational
attainment and positive school
leaver destinations in Glasgow
secondary schools, Scottish
Educational Review 44 (1), 33-45.
McKinney, S.J., Hall, S., Lowden,
K., McClung, M. and Cameron, L.
(2013) Supporting school leavers in
areas of deprivation into initial
positive school leaver destination
(Case Studies in Glasgow
Secondary Schools) Improving
 A) Attainment 2006-2013;
Leaver Destination 20062013.
 B) Schools that continue
to have high levels of
positive leaver destination
 Attitudes and views of
pupils preparing for leaver
 Pedagogy of poverty
Schools 16 (1), 63-78.

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