The impact of poverty on attainment to be explored by Holyrood committee


What is the impact of experiencing poverty on the attainment of young people at school? This is one of the questions the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Skills Committee will be exploring in a new inquiry.

As well as looking at the impact of poverty on attainment, the inquiry will also examine the types of interventions happening across Scotland to mitigate the impacts of poverty, such as free school meals, after school clubs, and youth work and the effect these have.

The Committee now wants to hear from parents, young people, teachers and other school staff and those who work with families and young people experiencing poverty to find out more about this work, including what is working, what is not working and what the barriers are to supporting our children and young people.

Committee Convener, James Dornan MSP said:

“There is little doubt about the difference education can make to the lives of our children and young people. But for all too many, the chance to fully reach their potential can be affected by the poverty they experience.

“We know that there will be huge amounts of work happening across the country to give Scotland’s children and young people the best chance to achieve. We want to hear about this work and the practical impact that this has. We also want to hear about the barriers that are faced in this work every day and how these could be overcome.

“It is clear that there will be no easy answers to how we mitigate the effects of poverty. It is important that we listen to the people affected and hard-working professionals to find out how we can make it easier for the valuable work that takes place across the country to succeed and for effective approaches to be shared nationally.”

The Committee is asking a range of questions available here.

Responses should be with the Committee by 22 March 2018. More information about the Committee’s inquiry, including details of how to respond, can be found here.


The Committee’s remit for the inquiry is:

  • To explore the impact of poverty on attainment and achievement at school; and
  • To explore the types of interventions to mitigate the impacts of poverty on attainment inside and outside school, including what works well and any barriers to success.

The Committee is expected to begin taking evidence on Wednesday 18 April 2018.

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