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Stephen McKinney, Stuart Hall, Kevin Lowden University of Glasgow Education and Employers Taskforce Research conference 2014 Poverty and school leavers’

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Presentation on theme: "Stephen McKinney, Stuart Hall, Kevin Lowden University of Glasgow Education and Employers Taskforce Research conference 2014 Poverty and school leavers’"— Presentation transcript:

1 Stephen McKinney, Stuart Hall, Kevin Lowden University of Glasgow Education and Employers Taskforce Research conference 2014 Poverty and school leavers’ in Glasgow secondary schools

2 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.

3 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 education and possibility of social advancement/mobility important part of anti- deprivation initiatives. (House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee 2008).

4 Methodology 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 2010- 2013.


6 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.



9 Conclusions There is a significant negative association between deprivation and attainment in Glasgow secondary schools. 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 strategies.

10 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 non-denominational. Key informants Interviews June/July 2011. Semi-structured interviews by two members of research team 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.

11 Sample Group 1 Schools B, C and E. Schools B, C and E all have high success rate with initial leaver destination This is despite high levels of deprivation Schools B and C work in close partnership Group 2 Schools A and D High levels of deprivation Less successful with initial leaver destination

12 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 Officer School E Deputy Head Teacher Principal teacher of Enterprise, Employability and Partnership

13 Findings 1. Socio-economic context of the school Socially challenged families and areas Cuts in school budgets and external staff Employability and sustainable futures Apprenticeships Rise in University tariff and University fees Cuts in College provision 1. Personnel involved Importance of leadership and designated staff Collaboration with external partners 1. Nature of intervention Intervention at an early age Targeted intervention

14 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 B).

15 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?

16 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 partners Careers Advisor for two extra days (E) Careers advisor for one extra day (B)

17 Personnel involved: Importance of leadership - Operation Group 1 Leaders work with designated members of staff – funded internal posts Devolved responsibility for operational matters and working with external partners External partners important – extra time funded by school Working in close collaboration with school More intensive contact on individual basis with young people Group 2 Work with wider teaching team – no funded internal posts Some responsibility for operation resides with HT/DHT 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

18 Further Research This research project intends to further investigate: A) Attainment 2006-2013; Leaver Destination 2006- 2013. B) Schools that continue to have high levels of positive leaver destination Attitudes and views of pupils preparing for leaver destination Pedagogy of poverty Publications 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 Schools 16 (1), 63-78.

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