Cryptopoverty in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland

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This presentation introduces research being carried out by the University of the Highlands and Islands in relation to the poverty-induced attainment gap in Scottish education. This Scottish Government funded research explores
the modes of identification of the most socially and economically deprived groups in Scotland and considers how this results in the omission of certain pockets of evidence, owing to the diverse terrain and demographic environment of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. “Cryptopoverty” is a term coined to describe the lived experience of those households who fall outside the index used by the Scottish Government for measuring the worst social and economic deprivation, yet who experience extreme social and economic difficulties. At present, the educational needs of this group can be supported if the household is eligible for free school meals. This presentation explores the need for qualitative data to support the identification of households in cryptopoverty and explores the view that free school meals status should, at present, remain the key indicator for financial support.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2020


  • Poverty
  • Rural
  • Education
  • Attainment


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