5 Forward look: national reporting for 2018 to 2019 academic year
This national report on performance of learners on the 2017 to 2018 academic year assessments has been based upon discrete scales for each year group, which all used the broad categorisation of capacity as high, medium or low. This approach was unique to the first year of presentation of the SNSA. Norming studies and a long scale equating study, completed during 2017 to 2018, have enabled a more refined scale for each subject area to be developed. In reporting for 2017 to 2018, a large proportion of children and young people showed capacity in the region labelled ‘high’. For the 2018 to 2019 academic year assessments, and in subsequent years, results are described along a series of bands, with reference to the SNSA long scale for each subject. During the course of the 2018 to 2019 academic year, the previous year’s results will be transposed onto the long scale and retrospectively reported on the long scale, at school and local authority level. With the more refined long scale in place, the national report for future years will be able to comment on the proportion of learners demonstrating capacity for each of the capacity bands, according to the different organisers and learner characteristics included in this report.
With regard to the capacity regions for 2017 to 2018, it is important to note that each of the descriptors is specific to the P1, P4, P7 and S3 assessments, which means that regions are not comparable across year groups. Therefore, differences in proportions across year groups do not reflect growth in capacity. For the 2018 to 2019 academic year, the newly established bands corresponding to the SNSA long scale will allow comparisons between year groups, in terms of proportions of learners demonstrating capacity at each band.