Educational policy in Wales is much focused on the concept of equity within education, yet despite this policy commitment, much remains to be done within the Welsh education system to translate such policy into effective, meaningful practice. Whilst Welsh Government’s (2017) Our National Mission commits to one of four enabling objectives which seeks “strong and inclusive schools, committed to excellence, equity and wellbeing” (Welsh Government, 2017, p.23), organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD, 2017) note that there is still a job at hand in fulfilling this realisation. It is within such a context that the University of Wales Trinity St David took part in an Erasmus+ project focused on developing school equity. Working in collaboration with nine institutions across five countries and coordinated by the Inspectorate of Education of Catalonia, the project’s aim is to empower schools to enhance and to assess school equity. The team is comprised of institutions from Catalonia (Inspectorate and School group), Wales (UWTSD and Pembroke Dock Community School), Romania (Inspectorate and University of Sibiu), Belgium (Go! School Group) and Italy (School group).
The Erasmus+ project Supporting Opportunity in Schools: Promoting Educational Equity is now in its second and final year. This paper will report on the final outcomes of the project, including the development of the concept of school equity and the construction of a framework to assess the equity conditions at the school level. Aimed at use by school leaders, the project has culminated in a series of intellectual outputs which include a methodological guide, a school leaders’ training portal, an annotated bibliography, a series of best practice videos and the publication of peer-reviewed academic journals which outline the project’s approach. This paper will provide an overview of the key aims and purpose of the project, and to detail the action research methodology used in developing the project’s theoretical concept of equity, which underpins the creation of a quantitative measurement tool to assess school equity conditions. The paper will report on the main project activities which led to the creation of a series of outcomes for use by education practitioners. It will also critically reflect on the dual nature of the project in working towards a shared conceptualisation of school equity whilst simultaneously meeting wider Erasmus aims of developing collaborative practice.