High achievement for socio-economically disadvantaged students: Example of an equitable education model in schools across five English districts

Maria Cockerill*, Tom Grieveson, Stephanie Bingham, Steven Higgins

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Socio-economically disadvantaged students have poor academic outcomes compared to other peers globally. Although a relatively wealthier country, these issues of underachievement are of concern in England. This situation is particularly acute in high poverty regions, although there exists variability between schools within such regions, with some schools achieving learning success for disadvantaged students. The focus of this research study was to understand common features in these successful schools, in terms of leadership decisions and how these are operationalised by teachers to support socio-economically disadvantaged students to succeed. The study took place over 12 months, in a high poverty region in England across 5 district areas, and a sample of 30 primary schools participated. Semi-structured interviews were completed with both senior leaders and teachers within each participant school, and thematic analysis was undertaken in line with grounded theory. Results show that all schools in the sample used seven key drivers to nurture learning and achievement for disadvantaged students. Participating schools universally recognised the findings as a true reflection of their schools. The findings suggest that equity in respect of the Capabilities Approach is possible for socio-economically disadvantaged students in schools where leaders and teachers cooperatively identify and apply these seven key drivers. Discussion suggests the findings from this study with its cooperative nature, if translated into structured resources, could support other schools to succeed in ensuring high achievement for socio-economically disadvantaged students across a region.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100043
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research Open
Volume2-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Inclusive education; Disadvantage; Equity; High achievement; Collaborative approach.

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