Chapter 4: Achievement of CfE Levels by pupil characteristics
- Female pupils outperform male pupils across all stages and organisers.
- Across all stages and organisers the proportion of pupils achieving the expected level was lower for pupils with an Additional Support Need than for those without. This was also true for pupils with English as an Additional Language.
- A higher percentage of pupils of Asian – Chinese ethnic background achieved the expected CfE levels in numeracy compared to pupils of other ethnic backgrounds.
- The percentage of P1 pupils achieving the expected level for their stage was highest for pupils living in accessible rural areas. At P4 and P7, performance was highest for pupils from either large urban areas or accessible small towns.
4.1 Achievement of CfE Levels by Sex
At all stages and across all four organisers, females outperformed males, particularly in writing; this pattern has been consistent since 2016/17.
The largest difference in performance at primary was in writing in P7 with females outperforming males by 15 percentage points. The smallest differences at primary for the literacy organisers were in reading and listening and talking for P1, at six percentage points each.
For S3 (Third Level or better), the largest difference in performance between males and females was in writing at seven percentage points; whereas the smallest difference for the literacy organisers was in listening and talking at five percentage points (Chart 6).
Across all stages the smallest difference in performance by sex was in numeracy. Females outperformed males but by a smaller margin than for the other organisers; by three percentage points at P1 and P7; by two percentage points at S3 (Third Level or better) and by one percentage point in P4.
The gap in literacy performance by sex increases through the primary stages at nine, 11 and 14 percentage points for the P1, P4 and P7 stages respectively. The gap in literacy performance by sex amongst S3 pupils at Third Level was seven percentage points.
With respect to S3 pupils achieving Fourth Level, the pattern was the same in that the smallest difference was in numeracy and the largest was in writing.
Chart 6: Percentage of pupils achieving expected CfE Levels, by sex and stage, 2018/19
4.2 Achievement of CfE Levels by ethnicity
To add context to the Achievement of CfE Level data by ethnicity, the majority of pupils in the data collection were White – Scottish (77 per cent of all pupils), followed by White – non-Scottish (11 per cent of all pupils). The remaining ethnic groups made up around one per cent each of all pupils.
Performance in numeracy was highest for pupils of an Asian – Chinese background, with at least 89 per cent achieving the expected level across all primary stages, rising to 99 per cent at S3. This pattern has been consistent since 2016/17.
Chart 7 shows performance in literacy and numeracy for each primary stage. Performance by ethnic group varies by stage. Performance in literacy was highest for pupils from Mixed or multiple ethnic backgrounds at P1 (82 per cent), pupils from Asian – Indian background at P4 (81 per cent) and pupils from Asian – Indian and Asian – Chinese backgrounds at P7 (both 82 per cent).
Chart 7: Percentage of P1, P4 and P7 pupils achieving literacy and numeracy CfE levels, by ethnicity and stage, 2018/19
Table 2: Percentage of S3 pupils achieving Third Level or better by ethnicity, 2018/19
|Ethnicity||Reading||Writing||Listening & Talking||Literacy||Numeracy|
|White - Scottish||91||90||92||88||90|
|White - Non Scottish||90||89||90||87||91|
|Mixed or multiple ethnic groups||92||92||93||91||93|
|Asian - Indian||96||95||96||94||96|
|Asian - Pakistani||94||93||94||92||92|
|Asian - Chinese||98||96||98||96||99|
|Asian - Other||92||91||92||89||95|
|African / Black / Caribbean||92||92||94||90||94|
|All other categories||76||76||76||74||83|
|Not Disclosed / Unknown||78||78||79||75||85|
At S3 (Third Level or better), performance was highest for pupils of an Asian – Chinese background across all four organisers (Table 2). With respect to the three literacy organisers in S3, performance of White – Non Scottish pupils and pupils in the ‘All other categories’ and ‘Not disclosed/Unknown’ categories was lower than the national average. In numeracy, pupils in the ‘All other categories’ category saw the lowest performance with 83 per cent achieving Third Level or better compared to the national average of 90 per cent.
4.3 Achievement of CfE Levels by Additional Support Need (ASN) status
To add context to the achievement of CfE level data by Additional Support Need (ASN), the percentage of pupils recorded as having an Additional Support Need increased throughout the stages: 12, 26, 31 and 32 per cent for P1, P4, P7 and S3 respectively.
Chart 8 shows the percentage of pupils achieving the expected CfE level was higher for pupils recorded as not having an Additional Support Need (ASN), compared to pupils with a recorded ASN, across all stages and organisers. In P1 the difference in performance was lowest for numeracy (21 percentage points), in P4 it was lowest for listening and talking (24 percentage points) and in P7 it was lowest for listening and talking (25 percentage points).
Chart 8: Percentage of pupils achieving CfE Levels, by Additional Support Needs and stage, 2018/19
At P1, P4 and P7, the greatest difference in performance (between pupils with a recorded ASN and pupils with no recorded ASN) was in writing, with differences of 26, 34 and 36 percentage points respectively.
At S3 (Third Level or better), the lowest percentage point difference was in listening and talking (14 percentage points), with 96 per cent of pupils with no ASN achieving this level, compared to 82 per cent of pupils with a recorded ASN.
4.4 Achievement of CfE Levels by English as an Additional Language (EAL) status
To add context to the achievement of CfE level data by English as an Additional Language (EAL), the percentage of pupils recorded as having English as an Additional Language was between five and eight per cent in 2018/19 for pupils in P1, P4, P7 and S3.
The percentage of pupils achieving the expected CfE level was higher for pupils with English as their main language across all stages and organisers (Chart 9).
The gap in performance tended to be lowest in numeracy; ranging from one percentage point for S3 pupils to seven percentage points for P1 pupils.
EAL pupils performed better in listening and talking, compared to the other literacy organisers at all three primary stages (74, 79 and 77 per cent for P1, P4 and P7 respectively); the same pattern observed in the national figures. However, the largest gap in performance between EAL and English as main language pupils in the literacy organisers was also in listening and talking (14 percentage points at P1).
The performance gaps were generally smallest at P4; ranging from six to eight percentage points in the literacy organisers. In P7, there was a difference of eight to ten percentage points between EAL and English as main language pupils for all three literacy organisers.
Chart 9: Percentage of pupils achieving expected CfE Levels, by English as an Additional Language and stage, 2018/19
4.5 Achievement of CfE Levels by Urban Rural Classification
The Urban Rural Classification used in this publication has six classifications as shown in Table 3. The P1, P4, P7 and S3 pupils in the achievement of CfE Levels 2018/19 data collection were distributed as follows:
Table 3: Percentage of pupils in P1, P4, P7 and S3 by Urban Rural Classification, 2018/19
From largest to smallest
|Urban Rural Classification||Percentage|
|Other urban areas||38|
|Large urban areas||31|
|Accessible rural areas||12|
|Accessible small towns||9|
|Remote rural areas||5|
|Remote small towns||3|
Chart 10 shows a summary of the percentage of pupils achieving expected CfE levels, by Urban Rural Classification and stage for literacy and numeracy. Detailed results by Urban Rural Classification can be found in the supplementary tables which can be found in the supporting files associated with this document (http://www.gov.scot/ISBN/9781839603488).
At P1, performance was highest for pupils from accessible rural areas across numeracy and all literacy organisers. Performance was generally lowest for pupils from remote small towns.
Performance at P4 and P7 was lowest for pupils from remote small towns across all organisers. The areas with highest performance for P4 and P7 pupils varied with organiser, and included large urban areas and accessible rural areas.
The percentage of S3 pupils achieving Third Level or better across all Urban Rural classifications and across all four organisers ranged between 84 to 93 per cent.
Chart 10: Percentage of pupils achieving expected CfE Levels, by Urban Rural Classification1 and stage, 2018/19
1. Urban Rural Classification 2016: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/About/Methodology/UrbanRuralClassification