Publication - Research and analysis

Child and adolescent health and wellbeing: evidence review

Published: 11 Sep 2018

Maps available national data on child health and wellbeing against the SHANNARI domains, to produce a full and detailed picture of ‘where we are now’ on child health and wellbeing in Scotland.

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Contents
Child and adolescent health and wellbeing: evidence review
4. Achieving

90 page PDF

1.3 MB

4. Achieving

4.1 Elements within the Achieving domain

The Achieving domain is defined as 'Being supported and guided in learning and in the development of skills, confidence and self-esteem, at home, in school and in the community'. The key indicators identified here are around preschool development, attitudes to school, attendance and exclusions, school leaver attainment, school leaver destinations and youth employment.

Development, attainment and destinations outcomes

Attainment in education and success in employment is often seen to determine young people's long term success in life, and is viewed as way of overcoming difficult circumstances for those from disadvantaged backgrounds. It is measured in different ways at different ages, with a recognition that at any stage, outcomes are driven by previous development/attainment, and that early identification of issues and intervention is therefore crucial.

At pre-school ages the focus is on achievement of developmental milestones in a number of domains (communication, gross and fine motor skills, problem solving, personal/social). Assessments are currently available at 27-30 months but in due course will also be available at 13-15 months and 4-5 years. During primary school and early secondary school, national measures focus on teachers' judgement of whether the pupil has achieved the appropriate Curriculum for Excellence ( CfE) level for the given age in reading; writing; listening and talking; and numeracy. This data has been collected since 2015/16 and has experimental statistics status until methods are fully established. Therefore, it is not appropriate to make direct year on year comparisons.

At the point of the young person leaving school, data is collected about their qualifications. While education is less of a guarantee of quality employment than it once was, the chances of a young person being in work increase with the level of qualification they hold. Qualifications also give individuals higher wages than workers with few or no qualifications, with increasing returns as the level of qualification increases ( xxxviii). Positive destinations data is collected 9 months after the young person has left school. Positive destinations are defined as further or higher education, training, employment, voluntary work or an activity agreement.

Finally, the youth employment rate considers the rate of young people aged 16-24 in employment. Working lives are commonly beginning later as young people stay in education for longer. There is a considerable body of evidence to suggest that being unemployed when young leads to a higher likelihood of long term negative effects in later life in terms of lower pay, higher unemployment, fewer life chances and poorer health ( xxxix). These effects seem to be stronger for younger people and those with lower levels of educational qualifications. The research shows that periods of poor quality or precarious work can also lead to such long-term negative effects ( xl).

Drivers of attainment and destinations

A wide range of child outcomes at younger ages across other SHANARRI domains are recognised as pre-cursors of outcomes at school and school leaver age, and as such are drivers of attainment as well as outcomes in their own right. Attainment is positively influenced by a stable home environment (Safe), health and mental health (Healthy), good relationships with parents (Nurtured); feeling involved in decisions (Respected), absence of risk behaviours (Responsible) as well as poverty and peer relationships (Included). These are discussed in the appropriate chapters.

Drivers of attainment discussed in this chapter include attitudes to school, which are in turn influenced by relationships with teachers and the level of support young people are provided by teachers, as well as relationships with peers (discussed in the Included chapter). Young people spend a significant proportion of their time at school, and their perception of their school environment is a strong indicator of academic success as well as physical, emotional and mental health. Young people who perceive staff at their school as supportive and have a positive perception of their school are more likely to engage in health-promoting behaviours ( xli), and have higher levels of academic achievement, lower levels of truancy and bullying, and better mental well-being ( xlii). Attendance and exclusions are also recorded at national level. Young people with high levels of unexplained absences or who are excluded from school have lower levels of attainment. These measures are likely to be closely related to other factors listed above.

Another measure relevant to this section is the amount of pressure young people feel under from school work. Consultation with young people has shown that time to relax and participate in hobbies is an important factor for young people and that in some cases pressures from homework can cause stress and worry ( xliii). Stresses imposed by school work may also have longer term negative impacts on mental wellbeing.

4.2 Current position

Indicator

Headline figure

Date

Data source

Next data

Time trend

Key inequalities

International comparisons

Pre-school development

Children with one or more developmental concerns at 27-30 month review

18%

2016/17

ISD

2017/18

/

* SIMD 24% of children in SIMD1 had at least one developmental concern compared with 11% in SIMD5

* Gender boys (23%) were more likely to have a concern than girls (12%).

* 'Looked after' status 38% of children who were looked after by a local authority had at least one developmental concern compared with 18% of those who were not looked after

/

Attitudes to school

Percentage of S2 and S4 pupils who stated they like school 'a lot' or 'a little'

69%

2015

SALSUS

2018

Since 2002, the proportion of pupils who like school has remained fairly static, with only slight fluctuations

* Age older children were more negative (75% in S2; 64% S4).

* Gender There was no gender difference at S2, but at S4, boys were more likely to say they like school (69% vs 59%)

/

Percentage of S2 and S4 pupils who feel strained or pressured by school work a lot of the time

36%

2015

SALSUS

2018

The percentage has increased over time in all age/gender groups, but particularly among S4 girls (from 26% in 2002 to 62% in 2015)

* Age Perceived pressure increased substantially with age (22% S2; 49% S4)

* Gender Girls were more likely to feel pressured. At S2, the difference was small, but at S4 girls were substantially more likely to feel pressured than boys (62% vs 36%)

/

Teacher support

Percentage of 11,13 and 15 year olds who report high levels of teacher support

31% [2]

2014

HBSC

2018

The percentage was about the same as when the question was first asked in 2010

* Age The percentage dropped substantially with age from 53% at 11, to 21% at 13 and 15% at 15

* Gender Among primary school pupils, girls were more likely than boys to report high teacher support (58% vs 47%). There was no significant gender difference among secondary school pupils

Scotland performed worse than average at age 13 and 15 and reported the second lowest level of support across all HBSC countries.

* 19% Scotland, 33% HBSC average among girls aged 13

* 21% Scotland, 36% HBSC average among boys aged 13

* 14% Scotland, 24% HBSC average among girls aged 15

* 25% Scotland, 28% HBSC average among boys aged 15

Scotland performed average among 11 year olds

Percentage of 15 year olds who say that their teacher shows an interest in every student's learning in every lesson

44.8%

2015

PISA

2018

/

/

Scottish students were more likely to report high levels of support from their teachers than the OECD average (34.3%).

Percentage of 15 year olds who say that the teacher gives extra help when we need it in every lesson

54.3%

2015

PISA

2018

/

/

Pupils in Scotland were more positive than the OECD average (39.7%)

Attendance

Percentage of all secondary school half days attended

93.3%

2016/17

EAS

2018/19

Since 2010/11 pupils' rate of attendance has remained relatively stable, increasing from 93.1% to 93.7% in 2014/15 then decreasing to 93.3% in 2016/17.

* SIMD Pupils living in areas with higher levels of deprivation had lower attendance rates, with the effect being greater in secondary and special school. In secondary schools, pupils living in SIMD1 had an attendance rate 6.6 percentage points lower than the pupils living in SIMD5

* 'Looked after' status 'Looked after' young people consistently have lower school attendance than average (91%)

/

Percentage of S2 and S4 pupils who say they have truanted at least once in the last year

38%

2015

SALSUS

2018

The percentage declined between 2006 and 2013, but then increased for all groups except S4 boys

* Age S4 pupils were more likely than S2 pupils to have truanted (34% S2; 42% S4)

* Gender No meaningful gender difference

/

Exclusions

Cases of exclusion from primary and secondary school; rate per 1,000 pupils

26.8/ 1000

2016/17

EAS

2018/19

Substantial fall from 63.9/1000 in 2006/07

* Gender the rate was substantially higher among boys (42.0/1000) than girls (11.1/1000)

* SIMD The rate was more than five times as high among pupils from SIMD1 (48.5/1000) than among pupils from SIMD5 (9.1/1000)

/

Percentage of pupils who have been excluded from secondary school

10%

2015

SALSUS

2018

The percentage has declined steadily over time, but there was no change between 2013 and 2015.

*Age No difference by school year

* Gender S4 boys were more likely than S4 girls to have been excluded (13% vs 8%), but there was no gender difference at S2

/

Achievement of CfE levels

Percentage of primary pupils achieving expected CfE levels in reading

P1 80%; P4 77%; P7 76%; S3 90%

2016/17

EAS

2017/18

New data collection in 2015/16. Experimental statistics for 2015/16 and 2016/17 so not appropriate to compare over time

* SIMD Pupils in SIMD5 performed better than pupils in SIMD1 at all stages. The smallest performance gap in reading was at S3 (11 percentage points), while the largest performance gap was at P7 (19 percentage points)

* Gender A higher percentage of females achieved the expected CfE level than males at all stages. The gap in reading was between 6 and 8 percentage points

* Ethnicity A lower percentage of pupils of Other Ethnicity backgrounds achieved the expected CfE level in reading compared with other pupils

/

Percentage of primary pupils achieving expected CfE levels in writing

P1 77%; P4 71%; P7 69%; S3 89%

2016/17

EAS

2017/18

New data collection in 2015/16. Experimental statistics for 2015/16 and 2016/17 so not appropriate to compare over time

* SIMD Pupils in SIMD5 performed better than pupils in SIMD1 at all stages. The smallest performance gap in writing was at S3 (12 percentage points), while the largest performance gap was at P4 (22 percentage points)

* Gender A higher percentage of females achieved the expected CfE level in writing than males at all stages. The gap was between 8 and 14 percentage points

* Ethnicity A lower percentage of pupils of Other Ethnicity backgrounds achieved the expected CfE level in writing compared with other pupils

/

Percentage of primary pupils achieving expected CfE levels in listening and talking

P1 85%; P4 83%; P7 81%; S3 91%

2016/17

EAS

2017/18

New data collection in 2015/16. Experimental statistics for 2015/16 and 2016/17 so not appropriate to compare over time

* SIMD Pupils in SIMD5 performed better than pupils in SIMD1 at all stages. The smallest performance gap in listening and talking was at S3 (11 percentage points), while the largest performance gap was at P7 (17 percentage points)

* Gender A higher percentage of females achieved the expected CfE level in listening and talking than males at all stages. The gap was between 6 and 8 percentage points

* Ethnicity A lower percentage of pupils of Other Ethnicity backgrounds achieved the expected CfE level in listening and talking than other groups

/

Percentage of primary pupils achieving expected CfE levels in numeracy

P1 83%; P4 75%; P7 70%; S3 88%

2016/17

EAS

2017/18

New data collection in 2015/16. Experimental statistics for 2015/16 and 2016/17 so not appropriate to compare over time

* SIMD Pupils in SIMD5 performed better than pupils in SIMD1 at all stages. The smallest performance gap in numeracy was at P1 (14 percentage points), while the largest performance gap was at P7 (21 percentage points)

* Gender A higher percentage of girls achieved the expected CfE level in numeracy than boys across all stages, but the percentage is smaller than for other domains (2-3 percentage points)

* Ethnicity A higher percentage of pupils of Asian - Chinese ethnic background achieved the expected CfE level in numeracy compared with all other ethnic backgrounds

/

Qualifications

Percentage of school leavers with one or more qualification at SCQF Level 4 or better

96.3%

2016/17

EAS

2017/18

There has been a slight increase to between 2011/12 (95.8%) 2012/13 (96.3%), percentage has stayed steady since

* SIMD 98.7% of leavers in SIMD5 areas attained the qualification compared with 92.8% of the leavers in SIMD1.

* 'Looked after' status Looked after school leavers attainment was substantially lower than overall attainment. Children who were 'looked after' for the full year had an attainment rate of 78%, while children looked after for only half the year had a substantially lower rate at 65%. However, the gap between 'looked after' children and all school leavers has narrowed over the last seven years

/

Percentage of school leavers with one or more qualification at SCQF Level 6 or better

61.2%

2016/17

EAS

2017/18

The percentage has increased steadily since 2012/13 (55.7%), although a slight decrease from 2015/16 (61.7%)

* SIMD 43.0% of leavers in SIMD1 compared with 80.6% from SIMD 5 achieved the qualification. There has been a small reduction in the gap over time

* 'Looked after' status The gap between 'looked after' pupils and all leavers was very high at SCQF 6 level. Only 16% of children who were 'looked after' for the full year, and 8% of children who were 'looked after' for part of the year achieved this level

/

Positive destinations

Number and percentage of all school leavers in positive destinations at 9-month follow-up

92.9%

2016/17

EAS

2017/18

The percentage increased from 2015/16 (91.4%). It has fluctuated but increased broadly from 90.4% in 2012/13.

* SIMD Pupils from SIMD1 were less likely to enter positive destinations than those from SIMD5 (87.6% vs 96.4%)

* ASN Pupils with additional support needs ( ASN) were similarly less likely to be in a positive destination

* Ethnicity Pupils from the Asian - Pakistani group had the highest proportion of leavers in a positive destination.

* Gender 93.8% of girls and 92.1% of boys entered a positive destination.

* 'Looked after' status 'Looked after' children had a substantially lower positive destinations rate - 76% for those 'looked after' for the full year, and 64% for those 'looked after' for part of the year. The rate has improved greatly from 40% (full year)/36% (part year) in 2009/10.

/

Youth employment

Youth employment rate - percentage of people aged 16-24 years who are in employment

57.5%

2016/17

EAS

2017/18

The rate increased by 1.1 percentage points over the year from 56.5% in Oct 2015-Sep 2016, but was 0.9 percentage points lower than the peak 58.4% rate seen in Oct 2008-Sep 2009.

/

Youth employment rates in Scotland compare relatively well internationally.

4.3 Key points

  • In terms of attitudes to school, over a fifth of S2 pupils and almost half of S4 pupils reported feeling pressured by school work.
  • However, Scottish students were more positive about their teachers than students in other countries - 45% felt that their teacher was interested in every student's learning in every lesson, compared with the OECD average of 34%.
  • There is evidence that attitudes to school worsen with age. Older pupils were less likely to report high levels of teacher support or liking school, and were more likely to feel stressed by school work.
  • Girls felt more negative about school, reported lower teacher support, and were very substantially more likely to feel stressed by schoolwork.
  • School attendance has increased slightly over time, but almost four in ten pupils reported having truanted at least once in the last year.
  • Looking at achievement of Curriculum for Excellence ( CfE) levels, the percentages of pupils achieving the relevant level declined consistently between P1 and P7, before increasing by S3, for all domains (reading; writing; listing and talking; numeracy). The proportion of P7 pupils not achieving the CfE level ranged from a fifth to a third, depending on the domain.
  • Girls were more likely than boys to achieve CfE levels in all domains and at all school years. There was also a gap of 10 to 20 percentage points in the achievement of CfE levels between the most and least deprived SIMD quintile, depending on domain and age.
  • The percentage of school leavers with SCQF level 6 qualifications has increased steadily since 2012/13, while the percentage with SCQF level 4 qualifications has stayed steady at a very high level.
  • The attainment gap between pupils from the most and least deprived areas has dropped slightly over time but remains substantial, particularly at SCQF 6 level (39 percentage points). The attainment gap between looked after children and overall attainment also remains high, although is reducing due to increased attainment of 'looked after' pupils.
  • More than nine in ten young people were in a positive destination (education, training or employment) 9 months following leaving school.
  • However, this differs substantially by area deprivation, with an 11 percentage point gap between SIMD1 and 5. Girls were also slightly more likely to move to a positive destination on leaving school.

Contact

Franca Macleod