Attainment at a record high

Latest statistics show widespread improvement.

The proportions of pupils in primary achieving expected levels of literacy and numeracy have reached record highs for children from both the most and least deprived areas, according to official statistics.

Overall, the Achievement of Curriculum for Excellence Levels (ACEL) 2022/23 show:

  • for numeracy, a total of 79.6% of pupils reached the levels expected in 2022/23, a rise of 0.5 percentage points compared to the previous high (79.1% in 2018/19).
  • for literacy a rise to 72.7%, up on the previous high of 72.3% in 2018/19

The gap between the proportion of primary pupils from the most and least deprived areas achieving expected levels in literacy has also decreased to the lowest on record in 2022/23.

The figures also show improvements at secondary level compared to 2021/22, with increases in attainment across the board and the gap between those from most and least deprived areas has reduced.

Commenting, Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth said:

“These figures show record levels of attainment across primary school level and significant improvements in secondary. I congratulate our pupils and teachers for their hard work over the last year.

“These findings are the most up to date statistics on attainment and are comprehensive across all publicly funded schools in Scotland, demonstrating a clear rise in standards above pre-pandemic levels among primary school pupils. Along with this year’s SQA results, they point to widespread rises in attainment.

“I recognise that there is no room for complacency and our programme of reform across the education and skills system will help identify where further improvements can be made and will look to drive enhanced attainment to ensure all young people meet their full potential.”


The Achievement of Curriculum for Excellence Levels (ACEL) 2022/23 report  sets out the proportion of pupils who had achieved the expected CfE Levels in June 2023. These post-date the PISA assessments which were conducted in October 2022.

The 2023 SQA exam results showed attainment  above pre-pandemic levels.



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