Social Justice in Scottish Education? Revisiting the Question

Jonathan Brown (Lead / Corresponding author), Duncan Mercieca

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Social justice is a key value within Scottish education and is listed as one of four professional values within the General Teaching Council for Scotland’s (GTCS) professional standards. This paper uses the work of Nancy Fraser to question what is meant by social justice within Scottish education. Parallels are drawn between the conception of social justice as presented within the Standard for Registration and the work of Fraser, highlighting the relevance of a professional standard that seeks to orientate professionals towards social justice rather than codify the practice in reference to a single scale on which all matters of justice should be weighed. Following this, the Getting it Right for Every Child policy (GIRFEC) is problematized to demonstrate the dangers of mis-framing. This paper ends by connecting the concept of professional orientation towards justice as indicated within the Standard for Registration to Aristotle’s idea of sensibilities and phronêsis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number44
Number of pages13
JournalEducation Sciences
Issue number1
Early online date30 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • social justice
  • Nancy Fraser
  • Scottish education
  • professional standards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Public Administration


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