The Relationship between Poverty and Attainment


This seminar set the context for the series, drawing on multi-disciplinary international and national perspectives to establish what is currently known and understood about the nature of the relationship between poverty and attainment.  It also explored how poverty impacts on communities and families.










CLICK to view a full size version of the creative visioning mural


NHS Health Scotland – the Cost of the School Day Project

Dr Joan Mowat (University of Strathclyde) - Co-lead for the Seminar series, Dr Joan Mowat joined the School of Education in 2005 after a lengthy career in schools, latterly as Depute Head at Vale of Leven Academy. She has developed a range of leadership-related courses at Strathclyde and is Course Leader for the Into Headship programme. Joan is co-convenor of the Scottish Educational Research Association (SERA) Leadership in Scottish Education Network (SERA LiSEN). Her principal research interests are inclusion and leadership for social justice and she has a particular interest in supporting children with social, emotional and behavioural needs. Her most recent work has focussed on the poverty-related attainment gap, examining it from a range of different perspectives.

Introduction to Seminar 1

Professor John McKendrick (Glasgow Caledonian University) - Professor McKendrick is Co-director of the Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit (SPIRU) at Glasgow Caledonian University. He works within the fields of sociology and applied human geography with a specific focus on poverty, in which he is a reknowned international expert. He is particularly at the forefront of forging links between academics and practitioners in this area.

Understanding Poverty in Scotland


Professor Stephen McKinney (University of Glasgow) - Professor McKinney holds the chair of creativity, culture and faith at the University of Glasgow and leads the Scottish Educational Research Association Poverty Network and was former president of the organisation. His research interests are wide and he has published on the relationship between poverty, deprivation and school education.

Lindsay Graham (Child Poverty Food Advisor) - Lindsay is an independent government policy advisor specialising in food and public health with an international scope. She has a particular interest in children’s nutrition and, in particular, around children living in poverty and/or who are otherwise disadvantaged and has instigated and been a strong advocate for breakfast and summer meals programmes in Scotland and beyond.

In Conversation 


Molly Page (City of Edinburgh Council) - In her capacity as mental health and wellbeing officer, Molly has responsibility for the development and delivery of a range of learning and training materials for staff and for parents, particularly with regard to emotional health and wellbeing.

 Tackling Poverty in Scotland: the Business of Local Authorities?
"My presentation attempted to capture the essence of how it can feel to live in poverty and how changing practise in schools and services to mitigate impact of poverty must sit alongside changing ethos and culture in order to tackle stigma and develop empathy"



Sara Spencer (CPAG Scotland) - Sara is Project Manager at the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland, responsible for the Cost of the School Day project at a national level. She works with local authorities and schools to raise awareness of the impact of poverty on children’s lives and to support schools in developing strategies to alleviate it, such as the recently published "Cost of the School Day Resources, Video Link and Toolkit​".
'Tackling Poverty in Scotland - the Business of Schools?'

Dr Morag Treanor (University of Stirling) - Dr Morag Treanor is based in the faculty of sociology, social policy and criminology at the University of Stirling. Morag’s work largely focuses on child poverty – its measurement, causes, consequences, mitigation and prevention. 
Tackling Child Poverty Locally
"Parents are not to blame for poverty – governments are. Poverty is at the root of many family and children’s issues."


Dr Joan Mowat - Concluding Remarks