Definition of 'substantially eliminate' used in reference to attempt to close the attainment gap in schools: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

The Scottish Government has at various times referred to a goal to ‘substantially eliminate’ the attainment gap in schools. Please provide the definition of ‘substantially eliminate’ being used by government in reference to attempts to close the attainment gap, as I wish to know exactly what is meant by this term.


In 2017, the Scottish Government consulted on proposals for measuring the poverty-related attainment gap and milestones towards closing it, focusing on the impact of the education system as a whole and using a range of measures that reflect key stages of the learner journey and the breadth of issues that can impact on attainment. Following the consultation we identified eleven key measures to assess progress as part of the National Improvement Framework, along with associated stretch aims. We held a further consultation in summer 2022 which resulted in a further two new key measures being added for 2023.

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Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

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