Everyone's Future

Lessons from fifty years of Scottish comprehensive schooling

Paperback / softback, 232 pages, 234 mm x 156 mm
1 Jun 2015
Trentham Books

Price: £25.99

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It is fifty years since comprehensive education was introduced in Scotland, England and Wales. But while the ideal of comprehensive education has been largely abandoned in England, comprehensive schools are alive and well in Scotland and command public support.

This long-term overview of the development of the Scottish system, with contrasting accounts from England, Northern Ireland and Wales, concludes that comprehensive schooling, linked to underlying democratic values of liberty, equality and fraternity, has made a positive difference to the development of contemporary Scotland.

Drawing on a wide range of research, documentary and policy evidence, the book provides a critical account of developments in curriculum and governance and the impact of comprehensive schooling on its students’ outcomes, social class and gender inequalities. It exploits a unique series of surveys to give voice to young people and their increasingly positive attitudes to school, especially among the less academic. But the Scottish system’s success is still only partial.

Looking forward, the book outlines lessons from the Scottish experience both for Scotland and for other countries considering how best to educate young people of secondary-school age. A valuable resource for students, teachers, academics and policymakers.

  • Daniel Murphy

    Daniel Murphy has held many different posts in Scottish comprehensive schools, including three headships, since qualifying as a teacher in 1974. He is the author of Dealing with Dilemmas (2013, 2nd edn) and Schooling Scotland (2014).

  • Linda Croxford

    Linda Croxford joined the Centre for Educational Sociology in 1983 as a researcher on the Scottish School Leavers' Surveys and is still analysing datasets for evidence of inequalities in education and youth transitions.

  • Cathy Howieson

    Cathy Howieson worked as a careers adviser before joining the Centre for Educational Sociology in 1986; since then she has researched widely in the areas of compulsory and post-compulsory education and training and young people’s transitions.

  • David Raffe

    David Raffe was a member of the Centre for Educational Sociology from 1975 and was its director for many years until his death in 2015. He conducted research on numerous aspects of secondary and post-secondary education and training in Scotland and elsewhere.

  • Tony Gallagher

    Tony Gallagher is a Professor of Education and Pro Vice-Chancellor at Queen’s University Belfast.

  • Richard Pring

    Richard Pring was Professor of Educational Studies at Oxford University until 2003, and lead director of the Nuffield Review of 14–19 Education and Training for England and Wales' from 2003–09.

  • Gareth Rees

    Gareth Rees is a research professor at the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD) and the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University.

CONTENTS: Foreword; Editors' Preface; PART ONE: THE STORY, THE VALUES, 1965–2015: 1. Comprehensive schooling in Scotland 1965–2015, by Daniel Murphy; 2. The values of comprehensive schooling, by Daniel Murphy, Linda Croxford, Cathy Howieson, and David Raffe; PART TWO: THE EVIDENCE: 3. Young people's views of their experiences of comprehensive schooling, by Linda Croxford and Cathy Howieson; 4. The compulsory stage, by Cathy Howieson; 5. The post-compulsory stage, by David Raffe. 6. Inequalities, by Linda Croxford; 7. The governance of Scottish comprehensive education, by Daniel Murphy and David Raffe; PART THREE: VIEWS FROM ENGLAND, NORTHERN IRELAND AND WALES: 8. The Comprehensive school: the English contrast, by Richard Pring; 9. Academic selection and Northern Ireland, by Tony Gallagher; 10. The View from Wales, by Gareth Rees; CONCLUSION: 11. What have we learnt from the Scottish experience? by Daniel Murphy, Linda Croxford, Cathy Howieson, and David Raffe; Appendices; Index.

'This is a must-read for those of us who have lived the theme of this excellent book. It is even more so for those who in their lifetimes could have an impact on the future direction of education in these isles. It is an excellent account of Scottish education over these fifty years and is a fitting tribute to one of Scotland’s foremost academics. Insightful, enlightening, thought provoking and very challenging, its timing in the development of Scottish education could not be better.'

Ken Cunningham, CBE FRSA, General Secretary, School Leaders Scotland

'This book revitalizes the debate about comprehensive education by going back to first principles –equality, liberty and fraternity – and examining the Scottish education system in the light of them. In doing so it provides new insights into the concept and the difficulties of realizing it in the 21st century. It is a fitting tribute to an inspirational colleague – Professor David Raffe.'

Professor Ann Hodgson, UCL Institute of Education