Equality evidence strategy 2023 to 2025: easy read

A plan to get better facts, figures and information about equality.

Actions – the work the Scottish Government will do to make equality evidence better

These actions cover improvements to evidence about many different groups of people, including all of the protected characteristics.

These improvements will happen from 2023 to the end of 2025.


Action 1 - Looked after children

Looked after children do not live with their parents.

They may be looked after by other family members or by the local council, for example in a children’s home.

  • work with organisations to get complete information on religion and provide information about more groups of people
  • publish data about religion
  • publish data when people chose the ‘Prefer not to say’ option when asked about their sex
  • make sure there is better data about ethnicity and disability

People from a racial or ethnic group might have the same language, culture or religion.

  • find ways to get data about the trans status of looked after children aged 16 or over

Trans means someone does not identify as the sex on their birth certificate.

Action 2 - Child protection

  • work with organisations to make sure they give us complete information on religion and provide information about more groups of people
  • have better data about ethnicity
  • have better data about disability that shows types of disability and health conditions
  • to publish data when young people chose the ‘Prefer not to say’ option when asked about their sex
  • find ways to get data about the trans status of older children

Action 3 - Growing Up in Scotland

  • include analysis of equality data in Scottish Government reports using the Growing Up in Scotland data like the ‘Life at Age 17’ report
  • make sure that there is analysis of equality data in reports that use data from the Growing Up in Scotland questionnaire that are produced for the Scottish Government
  • add a question about marriage to the Growing Up in Scotland questionnaire, when the people taking part will be 20 years old.

Action 4 – School leaver attainment

We will see if we can publish school leaver attainment data on disabled school leavers and school leavers with additional support needs.

School leaver attainment data means information on what pupils have achieved when they leave school.


Action 5 - Justice data

We will get better data about ethnicity from justice organisations by using the 2022 Scottish Census Ethnicity Classifications.

The justice system is the police and courts.

Action 6 – Justice data

We will publish information about the ethnicity of people who have been in contact with the justice system.

Action 7 - Scottish Crime and Justice Survey

We will analyse the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey by ethnicity.

This will help us to understand how experiences of crime can be different for people of different ethnicities.

Action 8 – Justice data

We will do research into crime including police recorded crime, online crime, and drugs analysis.

We will make reports and publish them.

Action 9 - Police Scotland homicide data

We will ask for past data on ethnicity in crimes of murder and manslaughter from Police Scotland for inclusion in future Homicide in Scotland publications.

Action 10 – Justice data

We will help the justice system to collect intersectional data and evidence, and understand what intersectionality means.

Action 11 – Justice data

We will share good ways of working and support justice organisations with their equality data collection and reporting.

Action 12 – Justice data

We will find evidence on experiences of people with different characteristics in the justice system.

We will find ways to include more characteristics like disability and update the information we already have.

Social Security

Action 13 - Social Security official statistics

  • we will publish more evidence about how people with different protected characteristics experience the benefits system as new benefits are launched in Scotland
  • check the quality of equality data about the Adult Disability Payment (launched late in 2022)
  • do an intersectional analysis of who gets benefits

Action 14 - Social Security Scotland Client Survey data

We will set out plans for client surveys about benefits.

This will include surveys of people who get the Child Disability Payment and Adult Disability Payment.

We will check how good the data from these 2 surveys is and publish this information in reports.

Action 15 - Scottish Welfare Fund

A report will be published which will give data on age, disability, sex, religion and race of people who got a payment from the Scottish Welfare Fund.

We will check how we are collecting this data and make any changes needed before the 2024 annual update.


Action 16 - Family Resources Survey

Living in poverty means not having enough money for the things you need.

People in households that are not food secure may worry about running out of food and may have to have smaller meals or miss meals.

By 2025, we will publish more equality analysis of the food security data collected in the Family Resources Survey.

Action 17 – Surveys about poverty

We will look at what people understand about the poverty data we have.

We will look at ways to help people understand the information better and think about new evidence that could be collected.


Action 18 – Office of National Statistics Time Use Survey

This survey is about how different people spend their time.

We will analyse the survey using equality information and publish it in a Scottish Government report.

Action 19 - Scotland’s Gender Equality Index

We will publish a new version of Scotland’s Gender Equality Index in December 2023.

This gives information about how equal Scotland is for women.

We will restart an expert working group to support the next version of Scotland’s Gender Equality Index.

Action 20 - Scottish Social Attitudes survey

We will collect data in the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey on what people think about discrimination of people with different characteristics.

We will publish the information in a Scottish Government report by December 2025.

Action 21 – Equality data

By the end of 2024 we will do research to:

  • find out about the experiences of people with intersecting characteristics
  • find ways to check what evidence we still need

Action 22 – Equality research

We will get more evidence about the experiences of non-binary people in Scotland.

Non-binary means a person does not see themselves as either a man or a woman.

We will publish a document about what evidence we already have by the end of 2023.

We will add information from voluntary services and academic research from universities and colleges to the Equality Evidence Finder.

The Equality Evidence Finder is an online tool that helps people find information and research about equality in Scotland.

By the end of 2024 we will work with other organisations to decide what evidence is still needed.

By the end of 2025 we will carry out new research and publish a report about it.

Action 23 - Equality Evidence Finder

We will find ways to make the Equality Evidence Finder easier to use including:

  • improving the way that evidence is presented
  • finding ways to make sure data does not need to be put in more than once
  • making information clearer and easier to find
  • finding ways to add intersectional data and to give intersectional breakdowns of data

Action 24 – Equality Evidence

Run workshops for staff to show how to collect, analyse and present equality evidence.

Housing and homelessness

Action 25 - Homelessness data collections

We will look at data on homelessness to consider how to collect data on protected characteristics.

Agreement will be reached with the organisations that give us data on the changes that need to be made.

Action 26 – Scotland’s Census 2022 equality results on housing

The Scottish Government’s Housing team will work with the National Records of Scotland to decide which housing and equality information to publish from Scotland’s Census.

We will decide what extra analysis is needed and how we will do this.

We will carry out the analysis of the Census equality and housing data.

Health and Social Care

Action 27 - Health and Care Experience Survey

  • we will publish data on how people with different characteristics experience health and care
  • use the equality data to look at which patients have the best care experience

Publish the results by the end of Spring 2023.

Action 28 – GP Out of Hours Workforce Survey

  • improve data about age and gender identity by:
    • making sure we get complete data information from more organisations
    • start to collect data about staff groups who are employed or managed by out of hours services
  • decide if we can have new questions about race and disability

Action 29 - Data about women’s health

  • check what data we have and what data we still need
  • work with organisations to check what data we need about women’s health
  • work with organisations to understand the availability of their information and what makes it difficult to publish
  • find ways to get better data on women’s health, make a plan about how to do this and check how well work is going

Action 30 - GP Workforce Survey Scotland

  • find ways to get better data about age and sex and get more people working in healthcare services to give us information
  • check the quality of data collected about maternity leave
  • see if we could introduce new questions about race and disability

Action 31 - Data for weight management services for children, young people and adults in Scotland

Check the data we have and:

  • decide what new data is needed on age, disability, race, religion and pregnancy/maternity
  • update the data we already have
  • get feedback from people who own the data in NHS boards
  • make improvements to how the data is collected
  • change guidance for NHS boards
  • NHS boards will collect better data about equalities
  • we will collect and publish better equalities data every year

Action 32 - Mental Health Inpatients Census (MHIC)

This census gets information from people in hospital because of:

  • mental health or learning disability
  • mental health, addiction and learning disability patients in hospitals outside Scotland
  • hospital based complex clinicalcare and long stay patients

It is being checked to make sure we are collecting the right data for users to meet their needs.

We plan to expand the range of data that is collected to cover all nine of the protected characteristics if possible.

Action 33 – Social care data

Get better social care equalities data by:

  • completing a review of care home data
  • working with Public Health Scotland to find out how we can improve the data
  • finishing work to develop a system of bringing together a person’s records for the National Care Service


Action 34 - Scottish Household Survey

We will look at adding together data from different years to produce more equality data about transport.

We will publish these changes in the next publication of Travel and Transport in Scotland in April 2023.

Action 35 - Reported Road Casualties

Transport Scotland will work with Public Health Scotland to see if they can publish ethnicity information for people who get hospital care after road traffic accidents, and publish this.

Action 36 – Scottish Household Survey

Every year we will publish our Disability and Transport report alongside Transport and Travel in Scotland.

This includes analysis of how disabled people travel.

We will keep publishing this report every year.

Local Government

Action 37 - Trust in public organisations

Publish information about how trust in public organisations changes among people with different characteristics, including age, disability, race, gender identity and religion.

Labour market and the economy

Action 38 - Annual Population Survey

The Scottish Government plans to publish more analysis of the numbers of disabled people who are looking for a job, using the Annual Population Survey by the end of 2023.

This would include looking closely at the disability data by age, sex and ethnicity.

Action 39 – Data from Fair Start Scotland employability providers and ‘No One Left Behind’ providers

‘Fair Start Scotland’ and ‘No One Left Behind’ are employability services.

Employability services support people to get ready for work and get a job.

We will analyse and publish equality data collected through new ‘No One Left Behind’ data template including on gender reassignment and disability.

By the end of 2023 the Scottish Government plans to publish more analysis of different equality characteristics for its employability services.

Constitution, International and Migration

Action 40 - Scottish Household Survey – importance of voting in local elections questions

The 2020 ‘importance of voting in local elections’ data was published for the first time in January 2021.

When the 2022 data is available in 2023 the Scottish Government Elections Policy team will give advice about what would be helpful to publish.

It should be possible to provide information by age, gender identity, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion.

Action 41 - Scottish Social Attitudes Survey: attitudes to government and political engagement

We will check what equality data is collected and publish information in autumn 2023.

Rural and environment

Action 42 - June Agricultural Census

We will look at how we get better equality data about farming by replacing the current data collected through the June Agricultural Census.

We will improve how we report on equality data and could link with Scotland’s Census.

National Records of Scotland

Action 43 - 2022 Census

Scotland’s Census 2022 had new questions on sexual orientation and trans status/history.

The National Records of Scotland will publish equality data on people in Scotland between 2023 to 2025.

Action 44 – Vital events: deaths

Registrars have a card they show to the next of kin when asking questions about the person who has died.

We will change the questions so they will ask about ethnicity before asking what country someone was born in.

We will change the guidance to Registrars.

Action 45 - Small Area Household Estimates 2022-23

We will ask local councils to give more information from council tax systems about households that include a disabled adult.

Council tax is a charge paid to your local council to pay for local services like rubbish collection and street lighting.

We will start collecting the data in this new way.

We will start getting data on households with disabled adults in the annual collection of data.

What happens next?

Action is needed across all parts of the Scottish Government.

Analysts across Scottish Government will be responsible for achieving actions set out in this plan.

The Scottish Government will work with other organisations to have better equality evidence.

A Project Board will check how work on this strategy is going.

The Project Board will meet every 3 months.

A report on how work is going will be published at the end of 2024.

The Scottish Government will keep asking for the views and ideas of a wide range of people.

Copyright images © Photosymbols. Prepared by Disability Equality Scotland


Email: social-justice-analysis@gov.scot

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