The in-depth analysis provided by LEE will reveal hidden mechanisms of producing and reproducing inequalities in a system that officially aims to enhance equal opportunities among young people regardless of their social and ethnic backgrounds.

Local educational ethos to tackle segregation and support equal opportunities

The processes of urban and school segregation within disadvantaged schools and ways to alleviate its effects locally remain an under-examined field of study. The project Local Educational Ethos: a study on well-performing comprehensive schools in disadvantaged neighbourhoods (LEE) narrows down this knowledge gap by focusing on how local schools in disadvantaged areas of Helsinki metropolitan area are making a difference. The project seeks to determine how schools can successfully tackle problems of socio-spatial segregation and alleviate the effects of local disadvantage so as to create equal opportunities for pupils.

LEE aims at giving insights into how to tackle cumulative disadvantage in such schools so as to influence the lives of the young individuals attending them. In so doing, LEE seeks to assess how national and local policies, relationships between schools and their neighbourhoods, and social relationships within schools contribute together in producing a local educational ethos to support pupils’ wellbeing and learning outcomes.

Practical solutions for supporting educational trajectories

Concretely, we will explore and elaborate on the mechanisms through which positive discrimination (PD) funding functions well in the Finnish context and how it affects the pupils’ prospects. By combining the longitudinal quantitative material with qualitative data we will be able to bring new insights into what is required in terms of supporting in the transition to upper secondary education.