Publication - Research and analysis

Review of targets and indicators for health and social care in Scotland

Published: 15 Nov 2017
Part of:
Health and social care

Independent national review into targets and indicators for health and social care.

Review of targets and indicators for health and social care in Scotland
Attainment of young people

Attainment of young people

Increase the proportion of schools receiving positive inspection reports ( NPF)

Increase the proportion of young people in learning, training or work ( NPF)

70. At first sight the fact that only two of the indicators under review are related to attainment might seem inadequate. In fact, "improve the levels of educational attainment" is an NPF indicator which has not been included in this review. This indicator measures Scotland's performance against international standards as measured by the Programme for International Student Assessment ( PISA) system.

71. While methods to improve attainment are largely directed at improving what goes on in schools, evidence suggests that exposure to ACEs and, in particular, domestic violence is a powerful predictor of educational failure. As child poverty is tackled and as exposure to ACEs is reduced, we would expect educational performance to improve. Analysing attainment by socioeconomic deprivation of areas would be an important way of measuring the impact of child poverty on attainment. Making such an effect explicit would encourage greater efforts to improve socioeconomic circumstances of families.

72. Recommendations:

a) Existing measures of attainment describe Scotland's performance relative to international comparators. It is not suggested that this should change. Improvement in wellbeing in infants from families living in adverse circumstances should produce improvement in school attainment. Analysis of school attainment rates should routinely consider the effect of adverse circumstances arising from socioeconomic deprivation on attainment.

b) So far as the measurement of the proportion of young people achieving positive destinations is concerned, it appears this indicator is being changed to a measure which will estimate participation over a 3 year period. This measure has been designed after wide consultation and should give a better estimate of the destinations of young people leaving school.