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Publication - Report

2018 national improvement framework and improvement plan

Published: 12 Dec 2017
Directorate:
Children and Families Directorate
Part of:
Education
ISBN:
9781788515085

The framework sets out activity the Scottish Government and partners will take to drive improvement for children and young people.

65 page PDF

2.4 MB

65 page PDF

2.4 MB

Contents
2018 national improvement framework and improvement plan
Drivers of improvement: what the evidence is telling us and the action we will take

65 page PDF

2.4 MB

Drivers of improvement: what the evidence is telling us and the action we will take

The key drivers of improvement will continue to build on the positive work already underway in Scottish education and provide a focus and structure for gathering evidence to identify where further improvements can be made. These areas will continue to be used to provide focus for ensuring we have the evidence sources to contribute to our priorities and to minimise unintended consequences. They all remain equally important and the links and connections across these key areas are essential to enable continuous improvement.

The following sections summarise what we know is working well under each of these drivers and the ongoing and new improvement activity. This has been informed by the evidence we have gathered for the NIF evidence report and softer information from our day to day interaction with schools, practitioners and other partners. The Scottish Education Council ( SEC) will, going forward, work with the Scottish Government to support future reviews of the National Improvement Framework and development of the National Improvement Plan. The SEC will be the key forum for oversight of improvement activity across Scottish education and will help to ensure that a system-wide focus on improvement is delivered. The SEC will also act as a collaborative forum for working across organisational and structural boundaries in support of the development and implementation of key improvement priorities and ensuring those priorities are reflected in regional and national planning.

A more detailed listing of the evidence gathered under each driver, what it is telling us and improvement activity as a result is set out at Annex A.

Our priorities

School leadership

Our priorities - School Leadership

What is this?

The quality and impact of leadership within schools – at all levels and roles.

Why is this important?

Leadership is recognised as one of the most important aspects of the success of any school. Leaders at all levels who are empowered, and who empower others to take ownership of their own learning, have a strong track record of ensuring the highest quality of learning and teaching. This in turn helps to ensure that all children and young people achieve the best possible outcomes. Gathering evidence on the quality of school leadership will help us to identify and share what works and provide support and intervention where leadership needs to improve.

How will this help to achieve excellence and equity for all children and young people?

Highly effective leadership is key to ensuring the highest possible standards and expectations are shared across a school to achieve excellence and equity for all. Through evaluating leadership and, crucially, leadership of change, we will be able to focus on where leadership action is delivering excellent outcomes for all children and young people and closing the attainment gap through targeted intervention. We will also have evidence on the extent to which the professional skills and competences of headteachers are being developed and maintained.

What is the evidence telling us?

Education Scotland has reported that the majority of schools across the primary, secondary and special sectors inspected between August 2016 and June 2017 as part of the sample for the National Improvement Framework were evaluated as good, very good or excellent on 'leadership of change'. In many of these schools staff at all levels are taking on leadership roles and this points towards a developing culture of leadership responsibilities being distributed through schools. The number of teachers undertaking the Into Headship programme with the intention of becoming a headteacher was consistent with the intake to previous years' programmes and this now appears to have developed as an established national programme.

Improvement priorities for the year ahead

We are currently consulting on the legislative provision necessary to establish a Headteachers Charter which will set out the role of headteachers empowering them to be leaders of learning and teaching in their schools while giving them greater freedom in relation to curriculum, improvement, staffing and funding. We will take clear steps to provide support that will help the development of a school and teacher-led education system. Key within this, is our commitment to enhance the leadership support package that will help school leaders embrace their new and more empowered role. As part of this, we will continue to invest in the suite of programmes including Teacher Leadership, Into Headship and Excellence in Headship programmes.

Ensuring that the role of headteacher is attractive will also be an important part of our work and in 2018 we will work with the profession to develop a specific headteacher recruitment campaign while developing a mechanism to identify aspiring headteachers early in their career.

Case Study

Into Headship, Claire Slowther, Dunbar Grammar School

Into Headship, Claire Slowther, Dunbar Grammar School

"I first heard about Into Headship through the CPD coordinator at my local authority. I'd never had any formal leadership training, and although I've benefited from a lot of mentoring, encouragement and support from those around me, a qualification had always been on my radar and something I really wanted to pursue before taking the next step in my career. Into Headship really appealed as a way to increase my academic knowledge and professional understanding. I considered it very carefully and decided that, yes, this was definitely something I'd benefit from and wanted to invest my time in. Into Headship helped me enormously as a leader. With increased knowledge and understanding of the national and international perspective, I now have a deeper appreciation of why we do things and, because my opinions and values are rooted in knowledge, I have far more conviction and self-belief. I've become less operational and more strategic."

Teacher professionalism

Our priorities - Teacher Professionalism

What is this?

Teacher professionalism demonstrates the overall quality of the teaching workforce in Scotland and the impact of their professional learning on children and young people's progress and achievement.

Why is this important?

The quality of teaching is a key factor in improving children and young people's learning and the outcomes they achieve. In Scotland we have a highly professional, graduate teaching workforce with high professional standards set by the General Teaching Council for Scotland ( GTCS). We want to continue to improve the professionalism of our teachers and the quality and impact of their professional learning. The focus within the National Improvement Framework is on teacher professionalism, but we recognise that many other people make significant contributions to children and young people's learning and development.

How will this help to achieve excellence and equity for all children and young people?

There is a strong link between teachers' professional skills and competences and the quality of children and young people's learning experiences. Ensuring the highest professional standards for all teachers in Scotland will help to ensure the highest standards and expectations for all children and young people. Consistent, well-moderated teachers' professional judgement data on achievement of Curriculum for Excellence levels in literacy and numeracy will help us to focus accurately on the difference in attainment between the most and least disadvantaged children and young people, and take further action as a result. We want all new teachers to develop as enquiring professionals who are highly confident in teaching literacy and numeracy, supporting health and wellbeing, using technology and data effectively to enhance learning and teaching, and ensuring equality. This is critical to ensure the strongest possible progression in learning for all children and young people.

What is the evidence telling us?

We know from evidence gathered both in 2017 and in previous years that the level of engagement in professional learning is increasing. Also the number of teachers engaging with the Professional Update and being awarded professional recognition of their expertise is high. We also know that the numbers of teachers with masters qualifications is steadily increasing as the Scottish Government investment in this area is maintained. The evidence around initial teacher education is less clear with the report on Content of Initial Teacher Education courses showing a wide variance in time spent on key subjects between universities and types of programme.

A further study on the preparedness of probationer teachers also shows mixed results. These studies point towards a continued need to better support teachers in the early phase of their careers.

Improvement priorities for the year ahead

As part of our reform agenda we will take a series of steps to ensure that teachers have the range of skills they need to do their jobs as effectively as possible. We will streamline and enhance professional learning to ensure a coherent package of learning for teachers. As part of this we will simplify the national support for professional learning and leadership development by placing these functions in the renewed and revitalised Education Scotland, working as part of the new regional improvement collaboratives. In addition we will continue to invest in high-quality masters level professional learning for teachers. The quality of Initial Teacher Education ( ITE) programmes is an important area of interest, and Education Scotland will work with the university sector and the General Teaching Council for Scotland to develop a self-evaluation framework for ITE providers which focuses on literacy, numeracy, health and wellbeing and Additional Support Needs. This will be available in the current academic year. We are also taking a number of actions to address teacher shortages, including:

  • Committing £88m in the local government settlement to make sure every school has access to the right number of teachers.
  • Supporting universities in developing 11 new and innovative routes into teaching.
  • Announcing £20,000 bursaries for career changers to train to become teachers of priority STEM subjects, starting in August 2018.
  • Continuing to build on our successful "Teaching Makes People" recruitment campaign.
  • Creating a further new route into teaching specifically designed to attract high quality graduates in priority areas and subjects

Case Study

North Ayrshire's Professional Learning Academy

North Ayrshire's Professional Learning Academy

Based at Auchenharvie Academy, some of North Ayrshire's most highly-skilled teachers are developing and delivering programmes to their peers which will enhance the learning and teaching in establishments across the area. The Professional Learning Academy was funded through the Scottish Attainment Challenge and was awarded the General Teaching Council for Scotland's( GTCS) Excellence in Professional Learning Award in 2016. The ground-breaking facility was established by the Council to develop and enhance the skill-set of teachers and practitioners. This has resulted in more opportunities for professional dialogue as staff get the opportunity to meet with other teachers and work collaboratively. Staff are receiving different learning opportunities because they're coming back with new practices and modelling them in the classroom.
The academy offers targeted support, helping staff who teach our most vulnerable children. The increased confidence demonstrated by staff translates to the children too. The learning from the PLA provides more opportunities for success in the classroom and more breadth and challenge in the learning and teaching

John Butcher, Director of Education and Youth Employment, North Ayrshire

John Butcher, Director of Education and Youth Employment, North Ayrshire

"The Professional Learning Academy is an innovative and creative approach to developing practitioners' skills and knowledge. Our teachers are our most valuable resource and their ability to deliver the curriculum in an interesting and innovative way is essential in enabling us to meet the needs of the children and young people of North Ayrshire."

Parental engagement

Our priorities - Parental engagement

What is this?

Parental engagement focuses on ways in which parents, carers and families support and encourage their children's learning in school and in everyday life. Schools and partners can play a vital role in supporting families to do this effectively and with confidence. Schools involve parents and carers by enabling ongoing, two-way communications between home and school; supporting parents and carers to contribute to school improvement and making decisions that affect the school; and using the skills of parents and carers to enrich the curriculum.

Why is this important?

Research shows that when parents and carers engage in their children's learning, and when children and young people live in a supportive home learning environment, it improves children and young people's attainment and achievement. Family learning encourages family members to learn together, fostering positive attitudes to lifelong learning. We want to improve and increase the ways in which parents, carers and families can engage with teachers and partners to support their children and young people and increase the voice of parents and carers in leading improvements within schools.

How will this help to achieve excellence and equity for all children and young people?

Parental and family engagement is a key factor in helping all children and young people achieve the highest standards whilst reducing inequity and closing the attainment gap. Our 2016 review shows that family learning helps close the attainment gap through breaking the inter-generational cycles of deprivation and low attainment. Its effects can provide lasting impacts and improved outcomes. The information that we gather will inform our knowledge of where parental engagement and family learning and involvement is strong and where further attention is required. This will include monitoring levels of parental engagement and involvement in, and satisfaction with, learning provision in different communities.

What is the evidence telling us?

The evidence from the 2017 NIF Evidence report indicates that overall satisfaction levels with schools amongst the general population (measured via the Scottish Household Survey) have fallen over the last five years, however satisfaction levels amongst parents (measured via pre-inspection questionnaires) appear to be higher than amongst the general population.

Pre-inspection evidence (albeit with important caveats about the representativeness of the data) indicates there are fairly high levels of confidence amongst parents about approaching the school with questions. It also indicates that a large majority of parents feel they are being kept informed about the work of the Parent Council. This is broadly consistent with qualitative evidence and survey data obtained via a major review of parental involvement conducted by the National Parent Forum of Scotland and published in May 2017. The 2017 evidence report indicates that there is further room for improvement in parental understanding of what learning at home means and how to support learning in the home; the quality of information communicated from school to home about individual children and young people's progress and the quality, consistency and relevance of local authority parental involvement/engagement strategies.

Improvement priorities for the year ahead

We will take further action to support improvement across the parental engagement driver. Key priorities will be to modernise, strengthen and extend the Parental Involvement Act 2006 and to develop a long-term action plan on parental engagement and family learning. The legislative changes will modernise and update key definitions on parental involvement and engagement, laying the basis for a refreshed suite of guidance and improvement support. The improvement support will target the key areas (communication, support for learning at home) highlighted in the 2017 NIF Evidence Report. Learning at home and family learning will continue to be a key focus, with enhanced support from Education Scotland via a refreshed Toolkit. Further work will be conducted with partners to ensure that by 2019 every school has access to a home to school link worker to support parents and families who find it challenging to engage in their child's learning and feel excluded from the work and life of their child's school. Key national parental information and support campaigns (PlayTalkRead, Read, Write, Count) will be repositioned within a newly refocused "Parent Club" approach. The campaigns will continue to focus strongly on parental support to facilitate children's learning at home.

Case Study

Anne Munro, headteacher, Bellshill Academy, North Lanarkshire

Anne Munro, headteacher, Bellshill Academy, North Lanarkshire

Engaging Families and Communities in Bellshill Academy

Bellshill Academy, in North Lanarkshire, has worked with parents to help them engage with their children's learning and to have high, shared ambitions, aspirations and expectations. The school has 44% of young people in Scottish index of multiple deprivation ( SIMD) 1 and 2, and 72% in SIMD 1-3. The leadership of the headteacher, staff commitment and partnership working with parents and external agencies were central to Bellshill Academy's home-school partnership project entitled Working Together to Raise Standards and Transform Lives. Identifying attendance issues was very important in targeting young people and then selecting and developing the interventions which led to ensuring that young people were appropriately supported. Parental partnerships were centered on improving family learning. A sub-group of the Parent Council was engaged in evaluating existing practice and planning and developing a more focused approach to parental engagement. Young people's attainment, achievement and attendance increased as a result of effective, tailored interventions for individuals and groups based on a tracking approach. A comprehensive home-school partnership programme contributed to the school drive to develop an ethos of success and increased attainment and engagement with parents through family learning. The programme includes strategies for raising attainment, peer support, pupil support, key transitions, wider achievement and parental involvement.

Assessment of Children's progress

Our priorities - Assessment of Children's progress

What is this?

Assessment of children and young people's progress includes a range of evidence on what children and young people learn and achieve throughout their education and how well this prepares them for life beyond school. This includes Curriculum for Excellence levels, skills, qualifications and other awards, and achievement of positive and sustained destinations. Progress in learning for children and young people with complex additional support needs are evaluated at an individual level, through agreed plans and personalised next steps.

Why is this important?

We all need more robust and consistent evidence which will help us in improving health and wellbeing, raising attainment and closing the poverty-related attainment gap. We need to know the size of the attainment gap at different ages and stages, across Scotland, in order to take the right action to close it and we need to know whether the attainment gap is narrowing over time in order to know whether the actions we are taking are the right ones. The annual collection of teachers' professional judgement data on the achievement of Curriculum for Excellence levels and, from August 2017, the use of national standardised assessments, will lead to more consistent assessment approaches within the broad general education. Other important measures within this driver include positive destinations and the quality of career information and guidance available to children and young people.

How will this help to achieve excellence and equity for all children?

Data gathered on children and young people's progress is essential to achieving excellence and equity. Improved data on children and young people's progress at key stages, including differences between those from the least and most deprived areas, will allow for planning further interventions to ensure that all children and young people achieve as well as they can. The quality of career information, advice and guidance and monitoring positive destinations will tell us about how successful young people are when they leave school. This will also tell us about the choices young people make and the difference in the levels of positive destinations for young people from the most and least disadvantaged backgrounds. This data will help teachers to identify areas where good practice exists and which high-impact interventions should be shared. This is equally important for children and young people who experience barriers to learning caused by additional support needs.

What is the evidence telling us?

The data being collected on children's progress continues to help inform a shared understanding at local and national level on areas where focused action is required to reduce the gap in attainment and health and wellbeing between children and young people from the most and least deprived areas. The evidence being gathered also confirms that teachers are becoming increasingly confident about making judgements on achievement of a CfE level, and the use of national standardised assessments going forward will help to support consistency in the approach to assessment within the broad general education. The vast majority of the sample schools inspected for the NIF by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education ( HMIE) were evaluated as satisfactory or better in ensuring wellbeing, equality and inclusion; and latest statistics continue to show positive trends in the numbers of school leavers achieving qualifications, awards and going on to positive destinations.

Improvement priorities for the year ahead

Improving literacy and numeracy, particularly amongst those learners vulnerable to poorer outcomes, remains the key priority. We will take steps to improve information sharing in the early years and make it more systemic to improve support and protection for our most vulnerable children. Improvement activities in the school years will continue to focus on the quality and consistency of data collections for attainment and health and wellbeing, as well as on ensuring that support for learning, teaching and assessment is provided to school leaders and practitioners through the regional improvement collaboratives. Data literacy amongst teaching professionals will also continue to remain a key focus over the coming year and the use of the Scottish National Standardised Assessments, the Insight Senior Phase Benchmarking Tool and the soon to be launched BGE Improvement Tool will provide the means for supporting this activity. The priority now is to allow these improvement tools and approaches to bed in and to avoid further changes which could increase workload for teachers.

As part of the national approach to Getting It Right for Every Child, the Scottish Government is increasing its focus on better preventing and mitigating childhood adversity. The term adverse childhood experiences ( ACEs) refers to stressful events occurring in childhood, including abuse, neglect and growing-up in a household in which there are adults experiencing difficulties such as parental separation, substance misuse, mental health conditions, domestic abuse, and imprisonment.

A focus on preventing ACEs and addressing their impact on children, young people and adults, is being embedded across the Scottish Government and its work with partners. This involves building on existing interventions ( e.g. expansion of Health Visitor numbers, roll-out of Family Nurse Partnership and expansion of high-quality early learning and childcare and nurturing approaches in schools) and we will continue to develop further actions that better address ACEs in Scotland going forward.

Assessing children's progress plays a crucial role in addressing adversity at any point in a child or young person's life, by recognising where barriers exist and putting in place action to address the issues identified.

Case Study

Colin Grant, Director of Children, Young People and Lifelong Learning, Dumfries & Galloway

Colin Grant, Director of Children, Young People and Lifelong Learning, Dumfries & Galloway

Closing the Literacy Gap in Dumfries and Galloway

A short-term, targeted intervention designed to accelerate progress in reading and writing and closing the literacy gap. Based on high quality pedagogy, specially trained Learning Assistants deliver one-to-one coaching sessions, four times a week, for a period of eight weeks.
This uses a book-based approach, with opportunities to read and write in every lesson. Forty primary 2 children were supported by this intervention across eight different schools. The impact was carefully measured using both formative and standardised assessments. Parents were highly committed to supporting the programme and enjoyed sharing their children's success. All pupils, parents and Learning Assistants were motivated by rapid progress and success. Learners involved in the intervention made remarkable gains in their reading age, averaging 14 months in only eight weeks. This compares with learners in the control group who made an average gain of two months in their reading age. The children's average standardised scores in reading showed an improvement of 13 points, while learners in the control group made an average gain of only half a point. 24 learners 'closed the literacy gap' and 12 have significantly 'narrowed' it.

School improvement

Our priorities - School improvement

What is this?

The overall quality of education provided by each school in Scotland and its effectiveness in driving further improvement.

Why is this important?

School improvement focuses on the quality of education, including learning, teaching and assessment, as well as the quality of the partnerships that are in place to support children and young people with their broader needs. These are essential elements to raise attainment for all children and young people and close the poverty-related attainment gap. We have a good education system in Scotland, with schools achieving good outcomes for children and young people. We want to continue to improve this so that more children and young people experience very good and excellent education services, delivered by self-improving, empowered schools and key partners such as community learning and development professionals.

How will this help to achieve excellence and equity for all children and young people?

Evaluating learning, teaching and assessment and the quality of what goes on in classrooms will tell us how good the experience is for children and young people, as we strive towards excellence for all. We know that for children and young people from the most deprived backgrounds, the gap in learning can develop from a young age. Evaluating school improvement and how schools work with partners will help us to focus on early and sustained intervention and support for children and their families. School inspection, school self-evaluation and local authority reporting on attainment and achievement will tell us how well schools are achieving equity for all children and young people. This will include the school's success at raising attainment for all, whilst closing the attainment gap between the most and least disadvantaged children and young people. We expect that this self-evaluation will be carried out increasingly with partners and other services. Data on improving attendance and reducing exclusions are critical factors in ensuring that children and young people's time at school and their opportunities to succeed are maximised.

What is the evidence telling us?

Whilst the majority of the sample schools inspected by HMIE for the NIF were evaluated as good, very good or excellent on 'learning, teaching and assessment' around half were evaluated as being good or better on raising attainment and achievement. Their findings also confirmed that the use of data to support improvement is being increasingly well used by senior staff but that tracking and monitoring of learning is being used inconsistently to determine progress in closing the poverty-related attainment gap; and that both Scottish Attainment Challenge and Pupil Equity Funding is being used to support improvement in professional learning for teachers and improved learning for children and young people.

Improvement priorities for the year ahead

The focus of improvement activity will be on supporting leaders and practitioners, through the regional improvement collaboratives, to further develop their skills to deliver professional learning for others, to drive innovation and improvement in learning and teaching, to use data to raise attainment and close the poverty-related gap, and to continue to improve the capacity of staff to self-evaluate for improvement.

This approach will have an impact on both the early years and school setting by ensuring the uptake of entitlement to Scottish Government funded early learning and childcare provision, increasing the emphasis on careers for children and young people in the broad general education, and ensuring that increasing numbers of vocational pathways are made available for young people in the senior phase.

Case Study

Pauline Stephen, Head of Schools, Angus Council

Pauline Stephen, Head of Schools, Angus Council

Actively Engaging Children in Shaping School Improvement

Northmuir Primary School, in Angus, actively engaged children in shaping their school improvement. It is important that the whole school community understands and shares the same aims around improvement so they created a child-friendly version of their school improvement plan. The child-friendly version includes targets which everyone is working towards and also success criteria. Children are encouraged to become 'learning detectives', evaluating, supporting and contributing to whole-school improvement. The School Pupil Council meet to discuss learning and also the school improvement plan.

Last year they focused on reading and were looking for ways to develop children's understanding of what they were reading and also their enjoyment of reading. Children identified understanding words as a barrier to learning and teachers gave more emphasis to developing vocabulary as a result. They also identified a lack of quiet places to read and they suggested reading tents which are placed around the school so that children can find somewhere quiet to read at break and lunchtime.

As a result of children being involved in the school improvement plan they have seen significant improvement in children's reading which is showing through in statistics and in practice.

Performance information

Our priorities - Performance information

What is this?

All of the information and data we need to get a full picture of how well Scottish education is improving. We will gather together and analyse the data collected from each of the other key drivers of improvement.

Why is this important?

Evidence suggests that we must build a sound understanding of the range of factors that contribute to a successful education system. This is supported by international evidence which confirms there is no single measure that will provide a full picture of performance. We want to use a balanced range of measures to evaluate Scottish education and take action to improve.

How will this help to achieve excellence and equity for all children and young people?

Through the National Improvement Framework and the annual Evidence Report we will build up a clear picture of progress across the key drivers and of overall progress towards our key priorities. Analysis of the evidence gathered will help us identify where things are working well and approaches that could be shared as good practice. It will also highlight areas for further improvement and where action is required. This activity will have a specific focus on excellence and equity for all and will inform school, local authority and national improvement planning. It will also be used to inform policy developments and decisions about priorities moving forward, including the allocation of resources and support.

What is the evidence telling us?

The 2017 NIF Evidence Report provides an overview of what we know about Scottish education and the context in which our children and young people learn. It brings together available current evidence on achievement, attainment, health and wellbeing and the wider education system, with a specific focus on differences between children living in the most and least deprived areas. This detail is reflected within the evidence tables for each of the drivers of improvement.

Improvement priorities for the year ahead

The increasingly rich and diverse range of data being collected through the NIF has brought into sharper focus the importance of supporting practitioners to use data intelligently at all levels of the system to help drive improvement.

In the year ahead we will continue to support use of the Insight senior phase benchmarking tool at local level and launch a BGE Improvement Tool for use by regional improvement collaboratives, local authorities and schools to support school improvement focused dialogue.

Case study

Carrie Lindsay, Executive Director of Education and Children's Services, Fife Council

Carrie Lindsay, Executive Director of Education and Children's Services, Fife Council

Using Data to Support Improvements in Teaching Practice and Learning Outcomes Fife Case Illustration

Over the last decade Fife has developed a set of systems to support better outcomes for learners, based on a rigorous use of data to inform professional practice. In the broad general education phase these have been based on clear milestones for achievement, which were developed with the profession. These milestones have supported teachers' professional judgements and enabled professional learning to take place in support of better classroom practice. Fife has had longstanding practice in relation to standardised assessments, for both learned and developed abilities. This information has been used to support teachers in their classroom assessment of individual children's progress in learning. Information about the performance of cohorts and groups of pupils has also been used to help improve the moderation of teachers' judgements, and to provide schools with a view of the value added by their teaching over time. This information has triggered dialogue between head teachers and senior officers about school improvement and has also helped teachers and head teachers to identify priorities for future improvement. Fife's approach is an example of a data rich system, informing and supporting an evidence-based approach to practice and improvement.

The introduction of new national benchmarks is providing Fife with an opportunity to review and update this approach, providing an opportunity to moderate teachers' judgements with those of other local authorities for the first time. This has enabled Fife to refine the basis on which progression through the Curriculum is reported, whilst maintaining clear evidence of improving attainment.

The biggest successes Fife can document relate to our objective to close the attainment gap for Fife's most disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people. Our data rich approach provides the authority with a rounded evidence-base showing that Fife has improved key outcomes and closed the attainment gap over recent years. For example, there has been an improvement in the literacy and numeracy of all primary pupils, and a significant closing of the attainment gap for key groups of disadvantaged and vulnerable children (including pupils living in SIMD deciles 1 and 2, pupils who are registered for free school meals, children with Additional Support Needs and looked after children). There is also evidence of improved outcomes and a significant closing of the attainment gap for a range of pupils in the senior phase (including literacy and numeracy outcomes at SCQF level 4).


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