Barry Black

Twitter: @BarryBlackNE

Research title: Chances or Choices? Influences on Subject Choices in the Curriculum for Excellence

Research Summary

Research Summary

Chances or Choices? Influences on Young People’s Learning Decisions

The research aims to investigate the social and structural factors that influence pupils’ school subject choices in the Greater Glasgow region, and assess the implications for employer’s engagement in schools.

Research Interests

  • Education and devolved public policy
  • Policy related to Looked After Children/Care Expereinced Young People
  • The future of work


BLACK, B. 2021. Schools deserve better than this hapless exams body. The Times [Article]. 

BLACK, B. 2020. The Scottish Qualifications Authority’s 2020 Alternative Certification Model – The Deprivation Impact. The Scottish Parliament, Education and Skills Committee. [Article]. 

BLACK, B. 2020. Why Nicola Sturgeon must today cancel Scottish Higher Exams. The Scotsman [Article]. 

BLACK, B. 2020. We need a game-changer for Looked-After pupils.TES Scotland [Article]. 

BLACK, B. 2020. Closing the attainment gap must remain the overall focus in Scottish education. Daily Record [Article]. 

BLACK, B. 2020. SQA grading controversy just adds to youngsters' anxieties. Scotland on Sunday [Article]. 

BLACK, B. 2020. 'SQA was warned about impact on disadvantaged students'. TES Scotland [Article].

BLACK, B. 2020. Attainment and disadvantage in Scotland’s schools: what may the impact of lockdown be? Research and Policy Briefing, Policy Scotland [Article].

BLACK, B. 2020. 'Now is the time to be bold on educational inequality'. TES [Article].

BLACK, B. 2020. Why Parliament was right to want a curriculum reviewTES Scotland [Article].

BLACK, B. 2019. 'The poorer you are, the fewer subject choices you get'TES Scotland [Article].

BLACK, B. 2019. Don't change the subject in the debate on choice. TES [Article].

BLACK, B. 2019. The Illusion of Choice. TES Scotland [Article].








Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) +3


BLACK, B. 2020. Priorities for our exam system - contradictions in Scotland's 'Ten Letters' [Keynote]. Scotland Policy Conferences - Seminar on the Review of Curriculum for Excellence, 6/10, online [Read Keynote Here].

BLACK, B. 2019. Chances or Choices? Subject Choice in Scotland's Senior Phase [Presentation]. SEAS Improving Social Justice in Scottish Education Conference, 17/8, Glasgow.

YUILL, C., TWUMASI, R., BLACK, B. 2018. Identity and Solidarity in the ‘Gig Economy’ [Presentation]. British Sociological Association, 11/4, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.



Social & Public Policy 1A: Foundations of Welfare 

Social & Public Policy 2A: Perspectives on Public Policy

Social & Public Policy 2B: Policy, Politics & Power

John Smith Centre for Public Service - Graduate Teaching Assistant