The EIS has been a major contributor to the debate on the development of comprehensive education in Scotland and in particular the aim of equality of opportunity, access and outcome for all young people.

In recent years the EIS has been at the forefront of the defence of Scottish education at a time when the principles which underpinned the comprehensive system were under attack from a government in Westminster.

The election of a new government, together with the setting up of a parliament in Edinburgh presents new challenges for all who wish to take forward the debate as to how comprehensive education can grow and develop.

This paper summarises the progress made by comprehensive school education to eliminating inequalities in education. However, socio- economic factors still present barriers to many in Scotland which prevent them from gaining full access to educational opportunities.

The EIS is committed to ensuring that these barriers are reduced for the benefit of all. The paper summarises some of the available evidence and makes proposals for the reduction of these barriers. We have no doubt that others will wish to develop this debate and promote a more just society.

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