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Levelling the playing field between rural schools and urban schools in a HE context: a Scottish case study

Research output: Working paper


Contextual information and data are widely used to help in the assessment of applications from young people from non-traditional backgrounds to outreach activities or undergraduate courses in the United Kingdom. However, they might be difficult to verify or may not characterise well some features, such as deprivation in rural areas. Our paper constructs three Scottish state secondary school markers that identify schools facing relative levels of deprivation higher than the Scottish average. To do so, we first aggregate well-known secondary school statistics. These statistics are publicly available from the Scottish Government and capture socio-economic, educational or geographical deprivation. We then explore how they can be combined with one another to create various school markers in order to level the playing field between rural schools and urban schools.Finally, we explain how our preferred school marker could facilitate the selection of schools for outreach activities and make contextualised admissions fairer and more transparent.


Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of St Andrews
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2017

    Research areas

  • Rural schools, Contextualised data, Contextual information, Equality

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ID: 250982915