Investigating the importance of effective strategies to raise the attainment of white boys in SIMD 1,2 and 3.
Originating Organisation or Projects
EIS Action Research Grants 2018-19
This research has been conducted as a result of my experiences as an educator working within both inner city and suburban secondary schools in Scottish education. These experiences have led me to observe that there may be a correlation between being a white boy in deciles 1, 2 and 3 of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) and low educational attainment.
Consequently, my research focused on the policies that currently exist to support improvements in attainment; strategies that arose from these policies; the data that could be used by educators to identify and target specific learners; and national research that had previously been carried out in this area.
I carried out my research in the school that I currently work in and focused on an identified group of pupils that met the brief of my statement. Literacy became the key for this targeted group as it became obvious very quickly that without a clear focus, there would be too many aspects of this specific area to research; this would result in inconclusive findings.
Mixed methods of quantitative and qualitative approaches were used and I kept a diary of all observations and interactions.
My findings demonstrated that improvements could be made with a small and targeted group of pupils and that this can have a positive impact across the school as attainment can be improved. I also discovered that working with parents and carers to ensure that they are a part of their child’s journey is imperative, however, as a classroom teacher, these opportunities are limited.
Understanding the literacy skills of parents and carers is also an important part of pedagogy to improve literacy and consequently raise attainment. Raising attainment is a key focus of Scottish Education with dedicated funding to achieve this. However, targeting pupils not just because of their socio-economic background but also because of their cultural and ethnic background may also be key to raising attainment.
Findings in this study may guide advocacy and further research on the topic of attainment gaps and socioeconomic disadvantage and literacy skills.