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Recently there has been a focus on raising performance standards in Scottish schools which has highlighted differences between girls and boys in attainment, and has led to a concern that boys' average attainment (particularly in school examinations) is lower than that of girls. Attainment in education, however, needs to take into consideration that subject choice is also marked by difference in gender. In addition, although girls tend to outperform boys in their examinations at school, this success in examinations does not, unfortunately, translate into success in the workplace. Gender discrimination also continues to occur in the hiring practices of institutes of education. Fewer women are found in managerial and top-level positions than men, though women are the majority of teachers at the school level and lecturers at the university level.

Research shows that in relations to lifelong learning gender is an importatn factor. Gender ss compounded by issues of poverty and rurality (and no doubt ethnicity, disability and age) in that in much of rural Scotland, access to further learning can be a barrier in terms of transportation, distance, and childcare. Women's employment patterns, may also impact upon their ability to access further training, or to benefit from initiatives in enterprise. Recent research has shown that only around five per cent of working women in Scotland are self-employed, compared to 12 per cent of men.

Scottish Executive

Equal Opportunities Commission

Scottish Centre for Research in Education

  • Equality in Education: Work Experience Placements (2003) This research exmines girls' and boys' decisions when choosing a work experience placement. Overall results suggest pupils are still following traditional sex stereotyped patterns when it comes to choosing their work experience placements.
  • Gender Equality in SOCRATES (2002) The principal objective of the study was to identify how both the principles and practices of equal opportunities between women and men were interpreted in a sample of 100 centralised and 113 decentralised projects carried out through the SOCRATES program.
  • Gender & Attainment (1996) This review covers studies and statistics which provide information about the attainment of boys and girls by the time they leave school.

Scottish Funding Council

  • Gender in Scottish Higher Education: Whats the Issue? (2006) This report looks at participation by gender in higher education, traces the differences in experiences between men and women after graduation, and examines gender differences among staff in higher education.

Department for Education and Skills

Research Centre for Social Sciences - Strategies of Inclusion: Gender and the Information Society (SIGIS)