Scottish Attainment Challenge - Local stretch Aims: 2023/24 to 2025/26

A summary of local authority stretch aims for raising attainment and closing the poverty related attainment gap 2023/24 - 2025/26.

Support and challenge to local authorities to make progress

In providing that support, focusing firstly on closing the poverty-related attainment gap, the Scottish Government will continue to support schools and local authorities through its £1 billion investment in the SAC programme over the course of the parliamentary term. Within that is continued investment in Pupil Equity Funding, empowering headteachers to develop local approaches to suit their children and young people’s needs; and investment in Strategic Equity Funding to local authorities to implement strategic approaches to closing the gap in their local authorities – and make progress towards their stretch aims. Additionally, the Scottish Government through the SAC programme also continues to provide funding to support care experienced children and young people’s attainment and wellbeing.

We will also look internationally to continue to develop our understanding of how progress in closing poverty-related attainment gaps has been achieved and sustained.

Alongside that, Education Scotland through its team of Attainment Advisors will continue to support and challenge schools and local authorities. This will include a clear plan for Education Scotland support and challenge for each local authority, as well as ongoing engagement throughout the academic year to ascertain and report on the progress of local authorities towards trajectories and therefore progress towards their stretch aims for 2025/26. Education Scotland will also work with local authorities to strengthen collaboration with schools in ascertaining local progress.

Education Scotland will continue to work with and provide support to local authorities in refining, tracking and monitoring processes as well as sharing good practice. This will strengthen the ability of local authorities to analyse data at regular intervals and report robustly on progress towards their stretch aims. Ongoing delivery of the Self Evaluation for Continuous Improvement programme will support local authorities in their approaches to planning and evaluation. Targeted support for local authorities will continue, through the analysis of data, and will be scoped in collaboration with local authorities. There will continue to be a link Attainment Advisor for each local authority but the team will be used more flexibly to support identified local authorities where added national resource could increase the pace of progress with improvements as well as tackling variation.

Education Scotland will continue to regularly publish materials to support improvements in learning and teaching. Further, Education Scotland has developed Scotland’s Equity Toolkit as a learning resource which will be continually updated as evidence, research and effective practice emerges. This will continue to be promoted to teachers as a means of accessing good practice and professional learning.

To drive improvements in overall attainment the Scottish Government continues to invest to give children and young people the best educational experiences, by investing to see over 2,000 more teachers in the system than before the pandemic, with the ratio of pupils to teachers at its lowest since 2009; providing 72,000 devices and 14,000 internet connections to pupils at risk of digital exclusion; providing universal free school meals to pupils in primaries 1-5; and with a record number of school buildings in a good or satisfactory condition.

Additionally, we are undertaking an ambitious programme of education reform with the aim of improving outcomes for young people, supporting Scotland’s teachers and practitioners and delivering excellence and equity for all.

Over the course of the coming three years, both locally and nationally, we will track, monitor and report on progress towards these stretch aims in line with the requirements set out in the SAC Framework for Recovery and Accelerating Progress.



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