1.1. The evaluation of the Attainment Scotland Fund (ASF) follows the duration of the Scottish Attainment Challenge, and is now in its fourth year. An interim report was published in March 2018, covering Years 1 and 2 of the fund. An evaluation report covering Year 3 (2017/18) was also published. The aims of the evaluation are to:
- Assess the contribution of the Attainment Scotland Fund (ASF) towards improving attainment and health and wellbeing and reducing the poverty-related attainment gap;
- Evaluate the extent to which other outcomes of the Attainment Scotland Fund have been achieved and assess the contribution of the fund towards achieving these aims;
- Provide learning about what did and did not work well in implementing the fund at national and local level, including consideration of changes over time and other contextual factors;
- Contribute to the Scottish evidence base of what works and does not work in closing the poverty-related attainment gap.
1.2. The evaluation has adapted in line with developments in the Attainment Scotland Fund. The evaluation focuses on three strands of the Attainment Scotland Fund: Challenge Authorities, Schools Programme, Pupil Equity Funding https://www.gov.scot/policies/schools/pupil-attainment/. A fourth strand, the Care Experienced Children and Young People Fund, is also being considered as part of the evaluation for Year 4.
1.3. A key component of the evaluation undertaken to date has included a survey to explore local authority perspectives on the Attainment Scotland Fund. The first wave took place in 2016 with Challenge Authorities only. The second wave of the survey was undertaken in 2018 with all local authorities invited to participate.