Educational attainment gaps much smaller in Scotland than in England after 10 years of SNP government: JRF Poverty Report Extract 6


‘In England, the proportion of children reaching a good level of development at age five has increased, but the attainment gap has remained fairly constant at 20 percentage points. The attainment gap remains fairly constant through primary school, meaning that the difference in attainment between those from richer and poorer backgrounds remains around 20 percentage points at age 11. This gap widens through secondary school, to around 28 percentage points by age 16 and 25 percentage points at age 19.

In Scotland, children aged five living in the most deprived areas were 16 percentage points less likely to reach the expected standard in reading, and 14 percentage points less likely in numeracy than those living in the least deprived areas. By age 11, these gaps increased to more than 20 percentage points. They remained at this level in the results of school leavers (age 16), having fallen from 33 percentage points in 2009/10.’ (P87)

I’ve taken out the Wales and N Ireland figures from the above long paragraph, to simplify the reading of this. It would have been better in a table but, what is clear, first, is that the attainment gap is only the same for 11-year-olds (difficult early adolescent boys) in both countries at 20% but the gap for 5-year-olds is only 16% in Scotland compared to 20% in England and for 16-year-olds the gap in Scotland is only 20% compared to 28% in England. Second, note the massive fall in the gap from 33% to 20% in the period of SNP Government.


6 thoughts on “Educational attainment gaps much smaller in Scotland than in England after 10 years of SNP government: JRF Poverty Report Extract 6

  1. Ludo Thierry December 5, 2017 / 7:14 pm

    Hi John – thanks for breaking the substantial JRF report down into segments – I think it does aid understanding.

    I noticed a report on beeb Jockland site (by our favourite Mr. Douglas Fraser) on something called The Scottish House Condition Survey 2016 released today (also reported on Scottish Govt news site). Happily, the relative figures are pretty much all moving in the right direction (some given as year on year – some offered with a longer term view). Mr. Douglas Fraser does seem to include most of them but I couldn’t help but smile at some of the complex linguistic constructions employed to make it harder for the reader to discern the positive movements in the stats – see this eg below:

    “..the Scottish Housing Conditions Survey showed that 3% of homes, or 39,000 properties, are in conditions deemed to be “below tolerable standards”. More than four in ten of these are due to dampness, and a quarter have poor insulation.
    Such houses are officially seen as being unsuitable for anyone to live in them. The scale of the problem has fallen, down from 4% of homes since 2012.”
    (a fall from 4% of homes to 3% of homes being ‘below tolerable standards’ is quite big potatoes – that is a drop of one quarter from 2012 to 2016 – but you don’t get a sense of that significant change over a 4 year period from Douglas’ deathless prose).

    Regular poster Alasdair would really appreciate Mr. Fraser’s piece because – bang on cue (as per Alasdair’s theory) – Mr. Fraser introduces some ‘impartial expert’ comments from someone called Sarah Boyack (sure I’ve heard the name somewhere before? – Just can’t think where? – Boyack? – Sarah Boyack – nuh – it’s not coming to mind), see below:

    Sarah Boyack, head of public affairs at the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, said: “It is particularly concerning that the percentage of housing association households in fuel poverty is higher than the overall national average, despite their housing being the most energy efficient.The figures demonstrate that social landlords need more support to further improve the energy efficiency of their stock in order to help their tenants who are on lower incomes and therefore more vulnerable to fuel poverty”.

    Not sure that we’d gather from Sarah’s comments that the figures had shown an improvement – (From Mr. Fraser’s piece “Fuel poverty has fallen by nearly 100,000 households in a year, according to the latest home conditions survey.The Scottish government figures show that in 2016, 649,000 households had to spend more than 10% of income on fuel to warm the home.”)

    A few figures are offered over the longer term – even Mr. Fraser picks up this nugget demonstrating considerable change over the period of the SNP Scottish Govt (see below):

    “On energy efficiency, the 2016 survey showed “strong improvement” in Scotland’s housing stock. The share of the most energy efficient homes increased from 24% in 2010 to 43% last year. In the same period, the proportion of properties in the lowest bands almost halved, from 27% to 14%.”

    I noticed another figure (positive) that tracks the period of the SNP Govt in the official piece – but didn’t see it surface in Douglas’ report (see below):

    • The SHQS (The Scottish Housing Quality Standards cover 55 different aspects of a home’s suitability) failure rate in the social sector was 38%, not allowing for abeyances and exemptions which are taken into account by the Scottish Housing Regulator. This has fallen from 60% in 2010. (Again – to me – a drop from 60% failure rate to a 38% failure rate over the period of SNP Govt sounds fairly encouraging – albeit with a lot of work still to be done if the great Scottish public choose to give the SNP Govt the necessary tools).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ludo Thierry December 6, 2017 / 6:36 pm

    Hi John et al – Political commentary in Scotland appears to have gone a bit quiet today – Where is everyone!?

    Since I introduced a ‘housing’ theme can I add a wee bit to it? – Noticed the 2 press items below today. No.1 (from National) shows SNP Scottish Govt planning to increase transparency in regard to Housing Association management remuneration. No. 2 (from Mirror) shows Tory britnat Peer ? benefitting from home owned by a Trust based in a tax haven.

    1. SCOTLAND’S housing associations could be forced to release documents, letters, correspondence and details of management salaries, as ministers announce a huge expansion of Freedom of Information laws.
    At a conference in Edinburgh today, Joe FitzPatrick the Minister for Parliamentary Business, is expected to announce radical changes to the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), which will bring Registered Social Landlords (RSL) into its reach.

    Michelle Mone to move into £11m home bought by offshore trust linked to lover

    Her billionaire boyfriend Doug Barrowman may have avoided £1m in tax if he bought the London home through a legal loophole
    Tory peer Baroness Michelle Mone is planning to move into an £11million London home owned by an offshore trust that is linked to her boyfriend, the Mirror can reveal.
    Billionaire businessman Doug Barrowman’s tax advisory firm specialises in helping the super-rich get around a crackdown on tax avoidance by buying properties through a trust.
    If he practised what his firm preaches, Barrowman, 52, who has been dating Ultimo underwear tycoon Mone for over a year, may well have avoided around £1million in tax by buying through an offshore trust instead of a company. The pair declined to comment.

    Prem Sikka, professor of accounting and finance at the University of Sheffield, said: “People like Michelle Mone are given peerages on the basis they are exceptional, model citizens.
    “They need to obey not just the letter but the spirit of the law. This kind of behaviour is unbecoming of someone lauded by the head of state.”

    Scotland attempting to become a modern, open society? UK mired in ancient privillege for the elite?

    The choice is ours to make.

    Liked by 1 person

    • johnrobertson834 December 7, 2017 / 10:11 am

      I’m note aware of this. Not the only thing! Will have a look. Thanks. Hope you are well.


  3. johnrobertson834 December 7, 2017 / 10:14 am

    Wow! Too much for me to get into, I regret. you’ve been busy!


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