Publication - FOI/EIR release

Various questions regarding ‘poverty-related attainment gap’: FOI release

Published: 19 Sep 2019

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

Published:
19 Sep 2019
Various questions regarding ‘poverty-related attainment gap’: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/201900003297
Date received: 20 Aug 2019
Date responded: 17 Sep 2019
Information requested

How, specifically, does the Scottish Government define the 'poverty-related attainment gap'? Which specific factors / data points are used? Obviously it involves the difference in performance between people from different socio-economic backgrounds, but I am interested in the specific type of 'performance' used by government as part of this definition
Which specific measures is the government using to determine whether or not the gap is closing? If there is more than one please provide all of them
What evidence does the government hold that the attainment gap is indeed closing?

Response

In the National Improvement Framework for Scottish Education (NIF), the Scottish Government uses the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) as its poverty measure.  This is an ‘area’ based measure (i.e. it’s based on where individuals live), and is not a measure of an individual’s level of poverty.  Information on what the SIMD is can be found here:- https://www2.gov.scot/Resource/0050/00504809.pdf
Rather than focus on a single measure, the Scottish Government consulted on a framework of measures that represent the outcomes of children at key stages throughout their childhood.  A link to the consultation on the key measures can be found here:- https://consult.gov.scot/national-improvement-framework/measuring-the-attainment-gap/
The final framework consists of 11 key measures, and 15 sub-measures.  These measures, and why they were chosen, were published in December 2017 and can be found here:- https://www.gov.scot/publications/2018-national-improvement-framework-improvement-plan/pages/5/
The data in the NIFIER demonstrates that there is an attainment gap between children from the most and least deprived areas as identified by the SIMD. Attainment is measured via the 11 key measures, and 15 sub-measures outlined in the answer to Q2. The Scottish Government has published a NIF Interactive Evidence Report (NIFIER) that shows the latest progress against a range of evidence (including the 11 key measures). The NIFIER can be found here:-https://public.tableau.com/profile/sg.eas.learninganalysis#!/vizhome/NIFInteractiveEvidenceReport/FrontPage

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Contact

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Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

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