Figures show drop in Scottish pupil literacy rates

The literacy abilities of Scottish college pupils have fallen over the previous 4 years, according to figures published by the Scottish government.

The Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy discovered that lower than half of Scotland’s 13 and 14-year-olds are actually performing nicely in writing.

P4 and P7 pupils additionally noticed a drop in writing efficiency.

The studying skill of P4, P7 and S2 pupils stays broadly just like 2014 – however decrease than 2012.

And there was no discount within the large hole between the efficiency of the nation’s wealthiest and most disadvantaged pupils.

Scottish Schooling Secretary John Swinney acknowledged that the figures had been “merely not adequate” and confirmed that training reforms had been now “crucial”.

Mr Swinney added: “If anybody taking a look at these literacy outcomes thinks nothing extra wants to vary in Scottish training, then they’re mistaken.”

He later made an announcement to the Scottish Parliament, the place he advised MSPs that the drop in writing efficiency for S2 pupils was of explicit concern

The Scottish Conservatives described the outcomes as “shameful” and stated the SNP had “failed a era” throughout its decade in authorities.

However the EIS educating union stated the figures confirmed that Scottish pupils had been persevering with to carry out nicely “regardless of the numerous challenges that our colleges have confronted in recent times”.

The Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy (SSLN) is an annual pattern survey which screens nationwide efficiency of college kids at P4, P7 and S2 in literacy and numeracy in alternate years.

The 2016 survey, the outcomes of which had been revealed on Tuesday morning, centered on literacy and concerned about 10,000 pupils in 2,250 colleges.

It discovered that in writing:

  • 49% of S2 pupils carried out very nicely or nicely in writing final 12 months, in contrast with 55% in 2014 and 64% in 2012.
  • There was a seven level drop in P7 pupils who can write nicely or very nicely, from 72% to 65%, since 2012
  • The writing efficiency of P4 pupils is now two factors decrease than in 2014 and 2012, at 62%

Whereas in studying:

  • Efficiency of P4 and P7 pupils was excessive
  • However the quantity performing nicely or very nicely in P4 dropped from 83% to 77% between 2012 and 2016
  • P7 and S2 efficiency in studying in 2016 can be two factors decrease than in 2012, at 88% and 82% respectively
  • S2 efficiency in studying was two factors larger than the 80% recorded in 2014

Pupils from the least disadvantaged areas outperformed pupils from essentially the most disadvantaged in each class, and throughout all three age phases.

The scale of the attainment hole was just like the one recorded in 2012 – standing at 18 factors in P4, 13 factors in P7 and 16 factors in S2 for studying.

And for writing, the scale of the hole was 15 share factors in P4, 20 in P7 and 18 in S2.

A couple of quarter of P4 pupils stated that they seldom or by no means learn along with somebody at house, whereas simply over a fifth stated they didn’t play quantity or counting video games.

And 29% stated they by no means or not often performed phrase video games.

In the meantime, 40% of S2 pupils stated they learn “fairly often” utilizing an digital machine reminiscent of cell phone, pill or e-reader, however solely 22% stated they recurrently learn fiction books and 14% stated they ceaselessly learn non-fiction books.

Final 12 months, the SSLN’s numeracy statistics confirmed that pupils in Scotland had been also doing less well in maths.

And Scottish colleges recorded their worst ever performance within the worldwide Pisa survey of pupils, with requirements in maths, studying and science all falling.

It was the primary time because the Pisa checks started in 2000 that every one three topic areas had been classed as “common”, with none “above common”, in comparison with different nations internationally.

Talking forward of a go to to a main college in Edinburgh, Mr Swinney stated there have been 4 key areas the place enchancment was wanted.

He stated: “We have to higher perceive the progress of particular person pupils, be clear concerning the requirements anticipated in our lecture rooms whereas stripping out forms to free lecturers to show, and guarantee literacy abilities are absolutely embedded throughout the curriculum.”

Mr Swinney insisted that the Scottish authorities was taking motion to offer lecturers and colleges with the instruments and sources to enhance literacy.

Its reforms embrace a £120m annual fund aimed toward closing the attainment hole, in addition to standardised testing and new regional training boards.

However he stated: “These reforms should not an in a single day resolution; it’s going to take time earlier than we see their full impact and we should keep the course.

“But when anybody taking a look at these literacy outcomes thinks nothing extra wants to vary in Scottish training then they’re mistaken. Additional reform is now crucial”.

Prime precedence

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has beforehand stated she wants to be judged on her education record, which she has described as her high precedence.

However opposition events have accused her of neglecting training whereas pushing for a second referendum on independence.

Scottish Conservative training spokeswoman Liz Smith stated studying and writing skill had fallen to “shameful” ranges below the SNP.

She added: “Given this proof, it’s abundantly clear that the Scottish authorities shouldn’t be doing sufficient to deal with the issues in primary literacy that this knowledge highlights.

“It additionally reveals very persistent hole between pupils from essentially the most disadvantaged areas and the least disadvantaged areas continues, and that must be tackled.”

Scottish Labour’s Iain Grey stated: “No little one ought to have their life probabilities decided by their background – but that’s precisely what is occurring below a Nationalist authorities obsessive about the structure.”

Ross Greer of the Scottish Greens known as for funding to reverse cuts to lecturers, further assist wants workers and librarians within the nation’s colleges.

And Scottish Liberal Democrat chief Willie Rennie stated the SNP’s “obsession” with independence was “taking a horrible toll” on training.

EIS normal secretary Larry Flanagan stated: “At a time when training budgets have been falling, workers numbers have declined and lecturers and pupils have been below extreme workload pressures, our colleges have continued to carry out nicely.

“If the attainment hole is to be tackled efficiently, we have to see an finish to the politics of austerity and a renewed political dedication to assist our complete system, together with tackling the extreme workload which nonetheless blights our colleges.”

What % of pupils attain the extent?
Competency Early (P1) First (P4) Second (P7) Third (S3) Fourth (S3)
Studying 81% 75% 72% 86% 39%
Writing 78% 69% 65% 84% 37%
Listening 85% 81% 77% 87% 41%
Numeracy 84% 73% 68% 86% 49%


Revealed at Tue, 09 Might 2017 09:53:08 +0000