Attainment Scotland Fund evaluation - readiness to learn: thematic evaluation report 2024

This report focuses on readiness to learn, presenting evidence from the evaluation and telling the story of how the focus on readiness to learn has emerged, what we have learned to date and how we plan to progress this exploration in the evaluation going forward.


1 Priority areas of thematic focus for the Evaluation were identified and agreed following discussion and consultation with the internal Attainment Scotland Fund Evaluation Working Group and the Attainment Scotland Fund Evaluation Advisory Panel.

2 Improving attendance in Scotland | Planning and reporting | About Education Scotland | Education Scotland

3 Attendance – Forth Valley & West Lothian Regional Improvement Collaborative (

4 Further information on the research being undertaken by Sosu and Klein at University of Strathclyde, including publications and research in progress can be accessed at Home (

5 Persistent absence and support for disadvantaged pupils - Education Committee (

6 Attendance review – implications of the COVID-19 pandemic (

7 In addition to the distribution of funding to local authorities through the Attainment Scotland Fund, the Scottish Government provides investment for a number of National Programmes as part of the Scottish Attainment Challenge to enhance support across the system Pupil attainment: closing the gap - Schools - (

8 The companion thematic report on Children’s Voice provides further detail on the #YSEquity Panel in the section on case studies.

9 The full findings on the Big Question will be available from Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland.

10 Nine local authorities received Challenge Authority funding and 73 schools in local authorities outwith Challenge Authority areas received Schools Programme funding under the Attainment Scotland Fund prior to the SAC refresh in March 2022.

11 Delivering Excellence through Equity 30.09.22.pdf (

12 Local authority Scottish Attainment Challenge (SAC) Leads are local government officers in a lead role supporting strategic planning for the Challenge.

13 The survey, one of the key outputs of the ASF Evaluation Year 1 Analytical Plan 2022/23, was extended to include a focus on the three thematic aspects of evaluation focus for 2022/23. A previous report was published in September 2023 focused on the survey findings on process. Further detail on the survey is included in Annex A.

14 From 2015 to 2022, nine local authorities received Challenge Authority funding through the Attainment Scotland Fund. These local authorities were selected according to the poverty-related attainment gap data. In addition, seventy-four schools outwith Challenge Authority areas received funding through the ASF, selected according to poverty-related attainment gap data.

15 ASF Evaluation Analytical Plan 2 (2023/24) includes a summary of the Impact Feasibility Study



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