Early childhood and schools

No More Failures: Ten Steps to Equity in Education


Executive summary | Table of contents | How to obtain this publication 

ISBN: 9789264032606
Publication: 14/11/2007
Pages: 143
Number of tables: 8
Number of graphs: 28


No More Failures: Ten Steps to Equity in Education

No More Failures challenges the assumption that there will always be failures and dropouts, those who can’t or won’t make it in school. In fact, initiatives in many countries demonstrate that it is possible to successfully tackle school failure and dropout rates – and to reduce the huge social cost of adults without basic skills. This book offers a valuable comparative perspective on how different countries have handled equity in education. Among the issues it explores:

  • tracking, streaming and academic selection
  • school choice
  • secondary education structures and second chance programmes
  • grade repetition
  • links between school and home
  • early childhood education
  • resource allocation
  • targets for equity
  • the special needs of migrants and minorities

The book identifies three key areas for delivering equity in education: the design of education systems, classroom practices and resourcing. It proposes ten concrete policy measures, backed by evidence, on how to reduce school failure and dropout rates. It will be of special interest to policy makers, school leaders, teachers and parents.

Executive summary

Defining equity in education

Equity in education has two dimensions. The first is fairness, which implies ensuring that personal and social circumstances – for example gender, socio-economic status or ethnic origin – should not be an obstacle to achieving educational potential. The second is inclusion, which implies ensuring a basic
minimum standard of education for all – for example that everyone should be able to read, write and do simple arithmetic. The two dimensions are closely intertwined: tackling school failure helps to overcome the effects of social deprivation which often causes school failure.

Why does equity in education matter?

The benefits from education are large. In the United States, for example,workers with tertiary qualifications earn more than double the income of those with no post-compulsory qualifications. Education is associated with better health, a longer life, successful parenting and civic participation. Fair and inclusive education is one of the most powerful levers available to make society more equitable.

Fair and inclusive education is desirable because:

  • There is a human rights imperative for people to be able to develop their
    capacities and participate fully in society. The right to education is
    recognised, for example, in the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of
    the Child and in the constitution of most nations.
  • The long-term social and financial costs of educational failure are high.
    Those without the skills to participate socially and economically generate
    higher costs for health, income support, child welfare and security.
  • Increased migration poses new challenges for social cohesion in some
    countries while other countries face long-standing issues of integrating
    minorities. Fair and inclusive education for migrants and minorities is a key
    to these challenges. Equity in education enhances social cohesion and trust.

Complete executive summary

Table of contents

  • The Ten Steps – Executive Summary
  • Introduction: Setting the Agenda
  • A Look at Inequities in Education
  • Structures and Pathways
  • School and Out-of-school Practices
  • Resources and Outcomes
  • Groups at Risk - The Special Case of Migrants and Minorities



How to obtain this publication

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