Date lodged: 19 October 2016
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the commitment in its publication, Delivering Excellence and Equity in Scottish Education: A Delivery Plan for Scotland, what progress has been made in focussing school inspection and self-evaluation more directly on closing the attainment gap.
Answered by: John Swinney 4 November 2016
Good progress has been made. A new model of inspection was introduced in September 2016 following extensive consultation with stakeholders. The school inspection is based around the self-evaluation framework How Good is Our School? 4 (HGIOS?4) which sets out Quality Indicators (QI) together with associated key themes.
The QI ‘Raising attainment and achievement’ is one of four QIs being evaluated on all school inspections this academic year. In all inspections, this QI is graded on a six-point scale (excellent; very good; good; satisfactory; weak and unsatisfactory) and evaluates the extent of schools’ success in raising attainment and closing the attainment gap. The QI includes the illustration of an evaluation of Very Good: ‘we have raised the attainment of all our learners and in particular our most disadvantaged children and young people’ as an example of the ‘Equity for all learners’ theme. Discussions on this theme include a focus on how schools are using their SIMD data and what the school is doing to close the poverty-related attainment gap.
Education Scotland will continue to monitor and evaluate the reporting through HGIOS?4 on closing the attainment gap.
Schools’ own self-evaluation reports form an important part of the inspection evidence. Inspectors use these reports help them make judgements on how well schools are raising attainment and achievement, and how well schools’ self-evaluate their performance across a range of QIs.