Confidence of children and young people

Latest update: January 2024

This indicator is in development which means we do not yet have data to report for this indicator.

We will publish data on this indicator as soon as it becomes available.

Toggle line chart

Educational attainment

This indicator is composed of 7 sub-measures. These measures are:

  • sub-measure 1: percent of primary 1, 4 and 7 pupils attaining expected literacy level
  • sub-measure 2: percent of secondary 3 pupils attaining expected literacy level
  • sub-measure 3: percent of primary 1, 4 and 7 pupils attaining expected numeracy level
  • sub-measure 4: percent of secondary 3 pupils attaining expected numeracy level
  • sub-measure 5: percent of school leavers with 1 award or more at SCQF Level 4 or above
  • sub-measure 6: percent of school leavers with 1 award or more at SCQF Level 5 or above
  • sub-measure 7: percent of school leavers with 1 award or more at SCQF Level 6 or above

You can view the sub-measures in the Equality Evidence Finder and read more about the measures here.

Educational Attainment of Scotland’s children and young people will have been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This should be kept in mind when considering the latest figures and – more importantly – when comparing them to earlier figures from 2018/19 and before.

Literacy and numeracy attainment (sub-measures (i) to (iv):

  • Data could not be collected for sub-measures (i) to (iv) for 2019/20 due to the closure of schools resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  Similarly, data could not be collected for sub-measures (ii) and (iv) for 2020/21 due to other pressures on secondary schools resulting from the pandemic.
  • For sub-measures (i) and (iii), comparing results for 2020/21 to the last available data (2018/19 ~ pre-pandemic) shows that the proportion of Primary 1, 4 and 7 children (combined) achieving expected levels in literacy decreased by 5.4 percentage points from 72.3% in 2018/19 to 66.9% in 2020/21. The proportion achieving the expected level in numeracy decreased by 4.4 percentage points from 79.1% in 2018/19 to 74.7% in 2020/21.
  • For sub-measures (ii) and (iv), the latest data available is for 2018/19. This is pre-pandemic and so does not reflect the impact of school closures and possible associated loss of learning. Between 2017/18 and 2018/19 there were increases in the proportions of Secondary 3 pupils achieving level 3 or better in literacy (up 0.6 percentage points from 87.3% in 2017/18 to 87.9% in 2018/19) and level 3 or better in numeracy (up 1.1 percentage points from 89.0% in 2017/18 to 90.2% in 2018/19).

School leaver attainment data in National Qualifications (sub-measures (v) to (vii)):

  • School leaver attainment data is available for 2019/20 and 2020/21. However, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic led to the cancellation of National 5 (SCQF Level 5), Higher (SCQF Level 6) and Advanced Higher (SCQF Level 7) exams in both 2019/20 and 2020/21. Grades in these qualifications were instead based on teacher estimates in 2019/20, and on teacher and lecturer professional judgement of learners’ demonstrated attainment in 2020/21. This will have affected the attainment of some 2019/20 and 2020/21 school leavers.
  • In addition, the pandemic may have affected pupils’ decisions on when to leave school (for example, delaying leaving from 2019/20 to 2020/21), which may have affected their attainment. Care must therefore be taken when comparing the attainment of 2020/21 school leavers and 2019/20 school leavers, and when comparing these to the attainment of earlier school leaver cohorts.
  • Any changes between the attainment levels of 2020/21 leavers, the 2019/20 leavers, and those of previous years should not be seen as an indication that performance has improved or worsened, without further evidence.

The data shows that:

  • 96.2% of 2020/21 school leavers achieved 1 pass or more at SCQF Level 4 or better. This compares to 95.8% in 2019/20. 87.7% achieved 1 pass or more at SCQF Level 5 or better in 2020/21. This compares to 85.7% in 2019/20.
  • At SCQF Level 6 or better, 66.0% of 2020/21 school leavers achieved 1 pass or more. This compares to 63.9% in 2019/20.

In terms of the disaggregated data for this indicator;

  • Attainment in each sub-measure varies by ethnic group. Across most measures those in the Asian – Indian and Asian – Chinese groups have relatively high levels of attainment. For example, in 2020/21, 94.7% of Asian – Chinese and 84.9% of Asian - Indian school leavers attained 1 pass or more at SCQF Level 6 or better. This compares to 66.0% across all school leavers.
  • Attainment varies by SIMD quintile, with those from the least deprived areas having higher levels of attainment than those from the most deprived areas. For example, in 2020/21, 86.5% of primary school pupils from the least deprived areas attained the expected levels in numeracy (sub-measure iii) compared to 65.0% of primary school pupils from the most deprived areas. Similarly, for sub-measure (vi), 96.1% of 2020/21 school leavers from the least deprived areas attained 1 pass or more at SCQF Level 5 or better compared to 77.9% of school leavers from the most deprived areas.
  • The attainment sub-measures show variation in attainment by urban/rural category. It is difficult to identify consistent patterns. In 2020/21, pupils living in Accessible Rural and Remote Rural areas were the most likely to achieve at SCQF Levels 4 or better and 5 or better (sub-measures (v) and (vi)), while pupils living in Accessible Rural areas and Large Urban areas have the highest levels of attainment at SCQF level 6 or better (sub-measure (vii)). For sub-measures (i) and (iii) in 2020/21, pupils from Remote Small Towns were less likely to have achieved the expected level than those in other areas

This indicator can be broken down by ethnicity, gender, local authority and Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. These breakdowns can be viewed on the Equality Evidence Finder.

Performance to be confirmed

Toggle line chart

Engagement in extra-curricular activities

Latest update: January 2024

This indicator is in development which means we do not yet have data to report for this indicator.

We will publish data on this indicator as soon as it becomes available.

Toggle line chart

Resilience of children and young people

Latest update: January 2024

This indicator is in development which means we do not yet have data to report for this indicator.

We will publish data on this indicator as soon as it becomes available.

Toggle line chart

Skill profile of the population

Proportion of adults aged 16-64 with low or no qualifications at SCQF level 4 or below. Find out more about this indicator.

SCQF Level 4 refers to qualifications at, or equivalent to, National 4. In 2020, the proportion of people in Scotland aged 16-64  with low or no qualifications was 9.7 per cent, a decrease of 1.9 percentage points since 2019.

The proportion is at its lowest since the series began in 2007 and has decreased by 6.7 percentage points between 2007 and 2020.

Data breakdowns

This indicator can be broken down by age, gender, disability, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status and urban/rural classification. These breakdowns can be viewed on the charts below o on the Equality Evidence Finder.

Performance Maintaining

Toggle line chart

The proportion of those with low or no qualifications is higher in the younger (16-24) and older (50-64) age groups than the other age groups. Since 2007, there has been a decrease across all age groups, the biggest of which has been for 50-64 year olds (down from 25.4 per cent in 2007 to 13.4 per cent in 2021).

Toggle line chart

The proportion of men with low or no qualifications (9.7 per cent) is higher than that for women (8.5 per cent). Since 2007, the proportion for women (down by 9.4 percentage points) has fallen at a faster rate than the proportion for men (down by 5.2 percentage points). However, since 2020 the proportion for men (down by 1.2 percentage points) has fallen at a faster rate than the proportion for women (down by 0.1 percentage points).

Toggle line chart

The proportion of disabled people aged 16-64 with low or no qualifications (17.4 per cent) is higher than those who are not disabled (6.4 per cent). Over the past year, the proportion of disabled people with low or no qualifications has fallen (down 1.7 percentage points). This is also true for those not disabled (down by 0.8 percentage points). 

Note: Based on Equality Act 2010 definition of disability.

Toggle line chart

The proportion with low or no qualifications is higher amongst Minority ethnic groups aged 16-64 (11.7 per cent) than white groups aged 16-64 (8.9 per cent). Over the past year, there has been an increase in the proportion of minority ethnic people aged 16-64 with low or no qualifications (up by 2.5 percentage points) but a decrease since 2019 (pre-pandemic). For white people aged 16-64, there has been a decrease in the proportion with low or no qualifications over the year (down by 0.8 percentage points) and also since 2019.

Toggle line chart

Toggle line chart

The proportion of people aged 16-64 with low or no qualifications is highest in the most deprived SIMD quintile at 18.3 per cent. The proportion of people with low or no qualifications decreases as the level of deprivation decreases. The proportion of people aged 16-64 with low or no qualifications is lowest in the least deprived SIMD quintile at 2.9 per cent. The proportion is lower across all SIMD quintiles when compared to the previous year and 2007.

Toggle line chart

Skill shortage vacancies

Proportion of establishments reporting at least one skills shortage vacancy. Find out more about this indicator.

The proportion of employers in Scotland with at least one skills shortage vacancy (SSV) in the 2011 Employer Skills Survey (ESS) was 3% compared to 4% in the 2013 ESS.  In the 2015 ESS survey the proportion of employers in Scotland with at least one SSV increased to 6%, which was an increase of 2pp from the 2013 figure. In the 2017 ESS the proportion employers in Scotland with at least one SSV remained at 6%. 

The latest data shows that the proportion of employers in Scotland with at least one SSV is 3% (in 2020).

The proportion of employers in Scotland with at least one skills shortage vacancy was 3% in 2020. This figure has fallen since 2017 (6%).

In 2020, 21% of all vacancies in Scotland were skill shortages.  This is lower than in 2017 when 24% of all vacancies in Scotland were skill shortages.

Data breakdowns

This indicator can be broken down by establishment size, region, and sector. These breakdowns can be viewed on the Equality Evidence Finder.

  • In 2020, West Lothian region had the highest incidence of skill shortage vacancies (SSV) (6%) and Ayrshire (1%) and Lanarkshire (1%) regions the lowest.
  • In 2017, Forth Valley, West and West Lothian regions had the highest incidence of skills shortage vacancies (SSV) (9%). The lowest incidence of SSV was 1% in the Borders region.
  • In 2020 the density of SSVs was highest in Fife region (32%) and lowest in Dumfries and Galloway (13%).  In contrast, in 2017 the density of SSVs was highest in West Lothian region (38%) and lowest in Fife region (13%).
  • In general, the largest establishments are more likely to have SSVs.  This was true in both 2020 and 2017.  In 2017, the density of SSVs was greater among small establishments than large establishments.  In 2020, the density of SSVs was highest in establishment of sizeband 5 to 24 (23%).
  • In 2020, the incidence of SSVs was highest in Public Admin (10%). The lowest incidence was in Financial Services (0%).
  • The incidence of SSVs was highest in the Education Sector in 2017 (11%). The lowest incidence of SSVs was in Primary Sector & Utilities in 2017 (3%). 
  • The density of SSVs was highest in Health and Social Work (26%) in 2020.  In a number of sectors base size was too small to report (<30).
  • The density of SSVs was highest in Business Services sector in 2017 (37%).  The lowest density of SSVs was in Information & Communications in 2017 (8%).​​​​​​​

Performance Improving

Toggle line chart

Skills underutilisation

Proportion of establishments with at least one employee with skills and qualifications more advanced than required for their current job role. Find out more about this indicator.

The proportion of establishments with at least one employee with skills and qualifications more advanced than required for their current job role was 33% in 2020 compared to 35% in 2017.  This is a decrease of 2 percentage points from the previous survey.  In 2015 the figure was 32%.

The proportion of all staff with skills and qualifications more advanced than required for their current job role was 8% in 2020 compared to 9% in 2017.

Data breakdowns

This indicator can be broken down by establishment size, region and sector. These breakdowns can be viewed on the Equality Evidence Finder.

  • In 2020 West Lothian region had the highest incidence of skills under-utilisation (43%).  The lowest incidence of skills under-utilisation was 30% in both Ayrshire and Tayside regions.  This differed from 2017 where Dumfries and Galloway region had the highest incidence of skills under-utilisation (43%). The lowest incidence of skills under-utilisation in 2017 was 27% in the Forth Valley region.
  • In 2020 the density of skills under-utilisation was highest in Borders region (13%) and lowest in Edinburgh and Lothians, Fife, and Highlands & Islands regions (6%).  This differed from 2017 where the highest density of skills under-utilisation was in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire and Dumfries and Galloway (12%) and lowest in West Lothian (4%).
  • Establishments with 25 to 29 and 50 to 99 employees were most likely to have skills under-utilisation (37% in 2020).  In 2017 the highest sizeband was 100 to 249 employees (45%). 
  • The incidence of skills under-utilisation was highest in the Hotels and Restaurants sector in 2017 (52%) and 2020 (48%).  The lowest incidence of skills under-utilisation was Primary Sector and Utilities (23%) in 2020 and Business Services in 2017 (24%).
  • The density of skills under-utilisation was highest in Financial Services in 2020 (16%) and Information and Communications in 2017 (24%).  The lowest density of skills under-utilisation was Public Admin in 2020 (3%) and Manufacturing in 2017 (4%). In general, the density of skills under-utilisation was greater among small establishments than large establishments.

Performance Improving

Toggle line chart

Work place learning

Latest update: 15 December 2023

This indicator measures the percentage of employees who received on the job training in the last 3 months. Find out more about this indicator.

In 2022, the proportion of those in employment in Scotland aged 16-64 who participated in job-related training in the last 3 months was 25.5 per cent, an increase of 2.0 percentage points since 2021.

The latest update of this indicator includes data for 2021 and 2022. Performance arrows have been decided based on the change between the last two years as normal.

The proportion of those in employment in Scotland aged 16-64 who participated in job-related training in the last 3 months increased from 23.5 per cent in 2021 to 25.5 per cent in 2022.

Data breakdowns

This indicator can be broken down by age, gender, disability, ethnicity, religion,  and socio-economic status. These breakdowns can be viewed in the charts below or on the  Equality Evidence Finder.

Performance Improving

Toggle line chart

In 2022, the proportion of people in employment who participated in job-related training was slightly higher for 16 to 24 year olds than any other age group.

Toggle line chart

In 2022, the proportion of women in employment who participated in job-related training (27.9 per cent) was higher than the proportion for men (23.1 per cent).

Toggle line chart

In 2022, the proportion of disabled people in employment who participated in job-relating training in the past 3 months (28.0 per cent) was higher than the proportion for non-disabled people (25.0 per cent). The proportion in employment who participated in job-related training for both disabled and non-disabled people has increased since 2021.

Toggle line chart

In 2022, a lower proportion of people in employment from minority ethnic groups participated in job-related training in the last 3 months (17.9 per cent) compared with 26.0 per cent of those from white groups. The proportion amongst minority ethnic groups in employment has decreased by 7.0 percentage points since 2021 whilst the proportion amongst white groups rose by 2.5 percentage points.

Toggle line chart

In 2022, the proportion of those in employment who participated in job-related training was 25.4 per cent for those with ‘No Religion’ and 26.6 per cent for  ‘Christian’. The proportion in the ‘No Religion’ and ‘Christian’ groups has decreased since 2021.

Toggle line chart

In 2022, the proportion of those in employment who participated in job-related training in the past 3 months was lower in the most deprived SIMD quintiles (1 and 2) than in the least deprived quintiles. Over the year there has been an increase in all quintiles except quintile 5, which stayed the same.

Toggle line chart

Young people's participation

Latest update: 04 December 2023

Percentage of young adults (16-19 year olds) participating in education, training or employment. Find out more about this indicator.

The proportion of 16-19 year olds that were participating in education, training or employment was 94.3% in 2023. This is the first data point to (partially) include HMRC employment data.

There are seven data points available for this National Performance Framework (NPF) Indicator, prior to the inclusion of the HMRC data.

In 2022, the proportion of 16-19 year olds that were participating in education, training or employment was 92.4%, a slight increase of 0.2 pp compared to the previous year (92.2%).

In 2023, the proportion of 16-19 year olds that were participating in education, training or employment was 94.3%.

Data breakdowns

This indicator can be broken down by age, gender, disability, ethnicity, and socio-economic status. These breakdowns can be viewed on the charts below or on the Equality Evidence Finder.

In 2023, twenty local authorities have a participation rate on or above the Scottish average (the remaining twelve were below). The highest participation rate was in East Renfrewshire (97.7%) and the lowest participation rate was in Dundee City (91.2%).

In 2023, those living in urban areas accounted for 70.7% of the overall APM cohort. Those who were not participating were more likely to live in an urban area. Most of the cohorts who were unemployed seeking (78.6%) and unemployed not seeking (75.6%) lived in urban areas.

Important information

A change of methodology between the 2022 and 2023 publications has resulted in improvements to the data quality in the underlying data source for 2023 for this indicator. The inclusion of HMRC data from January 2023 in the Annual Participation Measure has impacted positively on the participation rate for 2023. HMRC employment data was received for employment which started prior to 1st January 2023 and continued beyond this date and employment which started after 1st January 2023. The inclusion of HMRC data has caused a step change in the time series. It is therefore not appropriate to discuss the scale of improvement due to the methodology change.

Due to the step change in the series between 2022 and 2023, there is no performance arrow for 2023.

Performance to be confirmed

Toggle line chart

In 2023, participation was highest amongst 16 year olds (99.2%) and lowest amongst 19 year olds (88.9%).

Toggle line chart

The participation rate for 16-19 year old females is 95.0%, in comparison to 93.7% for males in 2023. The gender participation gap is 1.3 pp in 2023.

Toggle line chart

In 2023, the participation rate for 16-19 year olds identified as disabled is 89.9% which is lower compared to those not identified as disabled (94.5%).

Toggle line chart

In 2023, the participation rate for 16-19 year olds in the Mixed or Multiple; Asian; African; Caribbean or Black; and Other ethnic group is 96.8%, which is 2.6 pp higher than the rate for those identified as white (94.2%). 

Toggle line chart

In 2023, those who live in more deprived areas are less likely to be reported as participating compared to those from less deprived areas. There is an 8.3 pp gap in the participation rate between those from the most deprived areas (SIMD quintile 1) and the least deprived areas (SIMD quintile 5).

Toggle line chart
Was this information useful?
Your feedback helps us to improve this website. Do not give any personal information because we cannot reply to you directly.