Social inequalities exist in an interconnected network of disparities based on one’s economic status, ethnicity, race, religion or gender. Social marginalization, disadvantage and inequality is a severe social and economic challenge, and education is one of the main ways to tackle it. Enhancing access to education and training characterized by high-quality teaching for children coming from a low-socioeconomic background, investing in people’s skill building, reaching out to the pre-school sector, promoting inclusive education, access to extracurricular activities are all important measures to tackle social inequalities on the structural level of the education system.
Research shows, that in a result-oriented school climate everyday teaching practices often mirror and reproduce the patterns of inequality present in the larger society, excluding marginalized groups of students, while focusing on the success of others. This is a pressing issue when it comes to early school leaving, since there is a strong link between early dropout and social inequalities. Social inequalities can be addressed from inside the classroom by creating a collaborative and supportive environment, by applying student-centred teaching methods, and nurturing trusting relationships between students, and between students and teachers.