Coronavirus (COVID-19): impact of school building closures - equity audit

The report includes a synthesis of key local, national and international literature, supplemented with local evidence gathered from 54 schools across Scotland. The findings help deepen our understanding of the impact the pandemic has had on children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Annex B: Methodology – Survey of Schools

Phase 2


During the period 2 Nov - 20 Nov 2020, Attainment Advisors (AAs) and Scottish Attainment Challenge Project Leads worked collaboratively to collect data from 54 schools across 32 local authorities.

School Sampling Visits

Given the context at the time of data gathering, where schools were working within COVID-19 restrictions, the total number selected for this exercise was not intended to give a statistically representative sample. The selection aimed nonetheless to capture a wide range of demographics, including key features such as rural/urban locations, those with high levels of ethnic diversity and those in areas of deprivation, as defined by 70% of pupils living in SIMD deciles one and two. Each of the 32 local authorities had at least one school selected which ensured sufficient representation.


Five participant groups were identified for interview, these were:

  • Children and young people
  • Parents
  • Headteachers
  • Practitioners
  • Partner organisations

In addition, local authorities were offered the opportunity to create an additional group of participants. A few local authorities took up this offer. In total, 1,015 participants took part in Phase 2 of the Equity Audit.

Data collection process

Data was collected using semi –structured interview questions. All participant groups were asked questions relating to four themes which had emerged from the Phase 1 Rapid Evidence Review of literature, these being: learner experience, attainment, health and wellbeing, and mitigations.

Interviews and focus groups were conducted face to face and/or virtually, according to school context and geographical location.



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