Numeracy rates fall again in Scottish schools

Written by Tom Freeman on 31 May 2016 in News

Pressure on Scottish Government as latest SSLN figures show more pupils struggling with numbers, as attainment gap grows at P4

Numeracy levels among of primary four pupils in Scotland has dropped dramatically by ten points since 2011, according to the latest figures from the Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy (SSLN). 

In 2015 only 66 per cent of pupils in primary four performed well or very well at numeracy attainment, down from 69 per cent in 2013 and 76 per cent in 2011. The amount of pupils struggling with numbers increased.


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At P7 the figure remained unchanged at 66 per cent, although down from 72 per cent in 2011. The S2 figures show a drop of two points to 40 per cent performing well or very well.

Pupils from least deprived areas continue to outperform more deprived pupils across all stages. The attainment gap grew at S4 but remained the same at the other stages.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the figures did not show the most recent policies from the Scottish Government, but showed a need for the introduction of standardised assessments.

“We have introduced several measures since numeracy statistics were last published in 2014 as part of our firm commitment to address the attainment gap.

“Chief among the fresh measures has been the introduction this year of a National Improvement Framework, which will see new standardised assessments give detailed information to teachers on every child to show what is working and what needs attention,” he said.

The SSLN measures literacy and numeracy in alternate years using a sample of 10,500 pupils across Scotland. It is usually published in April, and opposition parties accused the Scottish Government of delaying this year's report until after the election.

Last year’s literacy SSLN also showed a decline in standards of reading and writing

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