Scottish Attainment Challenge - local stretch aims: 2022 to 2023

Summary reflecting local authorities stretch aims for 2022 to 2023 for progress in raising attainment and closing the poverty-related attainment gap.

2022/23 plus stretch aims

The plus stretch aims developed by local authorities in addition to their core aims summarised above are varied both in content and presentation, with the majority of local authorities submitting stretch aims which cover both primary and secondary sectors. Some plus stretch aims have accompanying narrative/rationale outlining the process local authorities have undertaken in order to agree and establish their plus stretch aims. In a small number of instances, local authorities have referenced improvement work (such as related to nurture/wellbeing) which they propose to undertake in 2022/23 prior to the setting of relevant plus aims in 2023/24.

Most local authorities have established aims both at overall level and various levels of disaggregation, often developed in response to specific local contextual factors. Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) quintile 1, SIMD quintile 5 and the gap between SIMD quintile 1 and SIMD quintile 5 have been most frequently used as the levels of disaggregation. Some local authorities have used alternative metrics to identify poverty-related disadvantage, such as pupils in receipt of free school meals. For example, one local authority has specified a focus on pupils in receipt of free school meals within specific school clusters as a result of their local data analysis.

As well as SIMD and pupils in receipt of free school meals, local authorities have set stretch aims focused on a range of other particular groups, including:

  • at a cohort level
  • care experienced or looked after children and young people
  • children with additional support needs.

For example, a number of local authorities have set plus stretch aims related to attendance and exclusions for care experienced children and young people.

For many local authorities, plus stretch aims drill down into core stretch aims to focus on aspects of attainment at a more granular level, for example into the sub-elements of literacy, including reading, writing and listening and talking for particular cohorts.

Others cover a range of attainment and achievement not captured in the core aims, including, for example, broader awards such as foundation apprenticeships and plus stretch aims expressed in terms of tariff points. Several local authorities have set plus stretch aims related to leaver destinations which extend beyond the core stretch aim for the APM. This included, for example, plus stretch aims expressed in terms of the gap between initial and follow-up leaver destinations; percentage of leavers in positive destinations; and percentage of leavers in higher education.

In a small number of instances, local authorities have specified stretch aims related to early years, such as meeting early years developmental milestones and achievement of early level literacy and numeracy. In one instance, a stretch aim has been set in terms of reducing youth homelessness across the local authority. Reducing the Cost of the School Day stretch aims were also included by a few local authorities, as were stretch aims related to nurture, readiness to learn and parental engagement. One local authority specifically mentioned the cost of living crisis as a contextualising factor, highlighting the potential impact on pupil attendance.



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