The inception of the research project.
The places where children and young people grow up in are extremely diverse and can greatly influence the outcomes of children and families across Scotland. Children and families can be negatively affected by a broad range of circumstances, including poverty and the associated impacts of it. Nonetheless, each place has their own unique context to consider when holistically assessing the relationship between child poverty and attainment and determining the actions required to mitigate the effects. Yet, the extent to which we can understand the impact of these place-based characteristics can be limited by the availability and density of data and information at hand.
Article 28 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states that all children and young person have the right to an education. In addition, the UN Sustainable Development Goals have a target to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Education and children services are in a unique position where they can work collaboratively across sectors to reduce structural inequalities and collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders to get it right for every child. This can be facilitated by having a deeper understanding of the mechanisms in which educational attainment can be negatively affected by poverty and subsequently support professionals to design bespoke interventions suitable to their own unique context and achieve excellence and equity of educational outcomes for children and young people.
The Northern Alliance is a regional improvement collaborative, spanning across and supporting 8 local authorities and their associated school settings to improve education and reduce the poverty related attainment gap. Within these settings, children, young people and their families live across a diverse range of urban and rural settlements.