The first five years of life are a time of great opportunity. Children learn at a faster rate than at any other time of life, providing a foundation for the development of life skills.
It is also a period of great risk. Children from disadvantaged households are much more likely to experience poor early learning than others, placing them at greater risk of enduring negative impacts on academic attainment, employment and earnings and civic engagement, among others. But some children from disadvantaged households do achieve strong outcomes, demonstrating that equitable outcomes are possible – and highlighting the policy actions that can help create a more level playing field for all children.
Equity in education is about supporting children who need it most. Ultimately it is about supporting informed and well-educated citizens, who are the foundation for stronger economies and more resilient societies of the future.
Explore our five key takeaways:
> Why equity matters: learning gaps at five
> How does pre-primary education make a difference?
> Which other factors could help close the gap?
> How can a more dynamic education system help learners throughout their lives?
> How do governments allocate public spending on education?
Finding Strength through Diversity, published on 31 January 2023, presents a framework for studying diversity, equity and inclusion in education, analysing five key policy areas: governance, resourcing, capacity building, school-level interventions, and monitoring and evaluation.
The OECD's latest report provides examples of good policies and practices, as well as policy advice on promoting more equitable and inclusive education systems.
> Read: Equity and Inclusion in Education: Finding Strength through Diversity
The 2022 edition focuses on tertiary education, looking at the rise of tertiary attainment and the associated benefits for individuals and for societies. It also considers the costs of tertiary education and how spending on education is divided across levels of government and between the state and individuals. A specific chapter is dedicated to the COVID crisis and the shift from crisis management to recovery. Two new indicators on professional development for teachers and school heads and on the profile of academic staff complement this year's edition.
What is social mobility? Why is it important? How should policymakers think about driving forward social mobility – and enhancing opportunities for children and future generations?
Listen to Romina Boarini, Director of the OECD Centre on Well-Being, Inclusion, Sustainability and Equal Opportunity (WISE), share her insights on social mobility – how it works, what government and societies can do to help – and how the OECD is supporting them.
> Explore the OECD's new Social Mobility portal