Nine in 10 headteachers report progress in closing attainment gap

Improvements expected in the next few years.

Almost nine out of 10 (87%) headteachers in Scotland say improvements have been made in closing the poverty-related attainment gap despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 Headteacher Survey, published today, also finds that 94% expect to see improvements over the next few years as a result of Attainment Scotland Fund (ASF) supported approaches.

An evaluation report on year 6 (2020-21) of the ASF, also published today, indicates there has been positive progress towards closing the poverty related attainment gap despite the challenges presented by the pandemic. Challenges included staff and pupil absence and the ability to deliver some initiatives.

Education Secretary Shirley Anne Somerville said:

"It's encouraging that our headteachers are continuing to report progress towards tackling the poverty-related attainment gap, despite the impact of the pandemic.

"We know the disruption caused by COVID-19 has presented serious challenges for learning and teaching in Scotland, as it has around the world. But the response of schools and local authorities in adapting to this, supported by Attainment Scotland Funding, has been a testament to the resilience of Scottish education.

"Progress was being made in tackling the poverty-related attainment gap before the pandemic and we now need to increase the speed and scale of this.

"That is why one of our top priorities is to accelerate both recovery and progress in tackling the poverty-related attainment gap, supported by a record £1 billion investment in the Scottish Attainment Challenge over the course of this Parliament." 


The Headteacher survey 2021 found 87% reported seeing an improvement in closing the poverty-related attainment gap.

The ASF Evaluation Year 6 report  covers the Pupil Equity Funding (PEF), Challenge Authority and Schools Programme Funding streams. 


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