In 2015, we marked the 50th anniversary of the introduction of comprehensive education in Scotland: a system of schooling designed to offer more equality of opportunity to all learners regardless of social class or other factors relating to their background.

A major piece of research carried out by academics at the University of Edinburgh, published in a book to mark the anniversary, concluded that for the 95 per cent of young people who attend comprehensive schools in Scotland, education has been better and fairer, with more positive attitudes to schooling, and higher achievement and attainment than might otherwise have been the case.

But, the academics said, equity of outcome across the spectrum of social backgrounds has been elusive with the biggest predictors of a child’s academic success still being the economic status and levels of education of their parents.