Hidden Costs and Other Barriers in Compulsory Education and in Initial VET

John Bynner
NESET Report, Measures to combat educational disadvantage: A European consultation symposium, 2011

This report follows the pattern of the workshop, beginning with an overview of barriers to equality of access to educational provision and achievement, led by Prof Ides Nicaise. The initial focus was particularly on economic difficulties as the major barrier disadvantaged families faced, followed by the educational, cultural and dispositional barriers that could add to them. As the discussion progressed emphasis shifted towards actions that might be expected to counteract the effects of disadvantage on outcomes by reducing inequalities in educational opportunities and support, including a number of specific initiatives that were reported as successful. The report was also informed by the discussions at the plenary sessions of the symposium and the Commission paper ‘Council Conclusions on the Social Dimension of Education and Training’.