Gender equality in education: Scottish Youth Parliament research

This report contains the research gathered from young people which was used to inform the Theory of Change model. The Theory of Change will help the delivery of the Taskforce’s agreed ambition: to end systemic gender inequality in education and learning. A version of the report with additional images is also available


The Equality in Education Team, which is part of the Scottish Government's Learning Directorate commissioned the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) to undertake engagement with young people to gather views on how Scotland can achieve gender equality in education and learning. Alongside this work, the Children's Parliament (CP) undertook engagement with children.

There is a wide range of evidence that shows from a very early age, gender stereotyping can have a significant impact on opportunities and choices for both boys and girls with gendered divisions over what is considered acceptable. Under The Equality Act (2010) schools are required to show that they are eliminating unlawful discrimination and harassment and promoting equality between women and men. By creating and promoting an inclusive culture, young people benefit from an environment where they feel safe and respected. Therefore, the focus of this research is on how this change can be achieved.

This research will inform the production of a Theory of Change model which is being developed by the Gender Equality Taskforce on Education & Learning. The model will identify the pathways to effecting systemic change in the education and learning sector, ending gender inequality. It is therefore vital that children and young people have a voice in this process.

The outcome of the model is that all girls and young women in Scotland, including girls and young women affected by intersecting inequalities, will be;

  • taught by gender competent educational professionals,
  • not experiencing sexism, sexual harassment or gender-based violence in the classroom or other educational setting and
  • Freely choosing subjects and areas of study, including those traditionally dominated by boys and men.

A version of this report with additional images is available at the Scottish Youth Parliament website



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