The issue of educational opportunity has long been of public concern and a major focus for eduational research. As a result, there is now a substantial body of research findings in this field, both quantitative and qualitative.; This work relates to various levels of the educational system and to different categories of student, but particularly social class, gender, ethnicity and race. The central trend has been to find persisting inequalities despite reform at system, institutional and classroom levels. Furthermore, the educational system is frequently portrayed as playing a key role in reproducing wider social and economic inequalities.; This book examines the status of educational inequality as a social problem, explores the conceptual issues surrounding it, assesses a representative sample of recent research, and seeks to clarify the relevant methodological ground rules, thereby laying the basis for future research in the field.