This report focuses on the conditions for a socially just society. The question of whether a society can be deemed socially just depends significantly – in addition to the issue of poverty prevention – on the distribution and organization of educational opportunities. Sweden, Denmark, Lithuania, Estonia, Croatia and Finland are the top ranking EU countries in this dimension. The influence of a student’s social background on his or her educational performance is in this regard least evident in Finland and Estonia. At the same time, these two countries attained the best results in the last PISA survey of learning achievement levels. This demonstrates that a high degree of social justice and a well-performing school and training system need not be incompatible goals. Notable in this context is the fact that the Finnish government, despite an already high degree of justice and quality, has again in its current 2011–2016 government education-policy programme placed a special focus on the prevention of poverty, inequality and exclusion.
Schraad-Tischler, D. and Kroll, C. (2014). ‘Social Justice in the EU. A Cross-national Comparison. Social Inclusion Monitor Europe (SIM) – Index Report’, Gütersloh: Bertelsmann Stiftung.