Measuring Attainment

Diagnosing issues in an individual child's progress is key to advancing attainment across the board, thus helping to close the poverty-related attainment gap between children and young people from the least and most disadvantaged communities. This event explores how attainment is currently measured, at both individual and national levels, to examine how we can ensure that every child is reaching their full potential.  

Tools for measuring children's progress

The Scottish Government has reiterated its commitment to standardised assessments at all stages and places teachers' professional judgements and standarised assessments at the heart of measuring children's progress. It is argued in the National Improvement Framework 2019 that this will lead to 'a more consistent approach' to measuring individual attainment across Scottish education. There are 11 key measures to assess progress towards closing the attainment gap in general, however, with a further 15 sub-measures that reflect the key stages of the learner journey and the breadth of issues that can impact attainment. Critics argue that this leads to confusion and at times conflation between those measurements that are intended as diagnostic tools for individual learners and others that are designed to measure the attainment gap across the country. 

As the approaches to measuring attainment come under scrutiny from opposition parties and the Scottish Government’s own commissioned independent review of standardised assessments for P1s, this timely event examines how attainment is being measured and what possible changes to assessments will mean for schools, local authorities, and children in Scotland. 

At this critical juncture we ask, what is the best way to measure attainment and how can we ensure all children reach their full potential? 

Why come to this event?

  • Hear from outstanding experts and policymakers from across the education sector
  • Your chance to question the people that matter
  • Question our expert panel in a lively, interactive session
  • Network with other people involved in education and share your experiences with colleagues from across Scotland
  • Leave better informed about the way attainment is being measured by the Scottish Government 

Who should attend? 

  • Head teachers and deputy heads
  • All other teachers
  • Local authority education professionals
  • Elected representatives with an interest in education
  • Academics interested in education
  • Other professionals interested in education


9:45 Registration and Refreshments 

10:25 Welcome and Introduction from the Chair 

10.30 Session 1: National Improvement Framework 2019 and Attainment in Context 

10:30 Expert speaker

11:00 Dr Gillean McCluskey, Moray House, University of Edinburgh 

11:30 Q&A

11:40 Refreshments and Networking 

12:00 Session 2: The Role of Assessments in Measuring Attainment and Informing Teachers

12:00 The Importance of Tracking Progress

Katharine Bailey, Director of Policy, Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring, Durham University

12:30 Why Five-Year-Old Children Need Play, Not Tests

Sue Palmer, Independent Writer and Education Consultant; Chair, Upstart Scotland 

13:00 Q&A

13:10 Lunch and Networking

14:00 Session 3: Raising attainment for all 

14:00 Panel discussion

This is your opportunity to put your questions to leading policy makers and education experts. 

Jenny Gilruth MSP, Member of the Education and Skills Committee, Scottish National Party (SNP)
Iain Gray MSP, Education Spokesperson, Scottish Labour

Liz Smith MSP, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, Scottish Conservatives

Katharine Bailey, Director of Policy, Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring, Durham University

14:55 Closing Remarks from the Chair 

15:00 Close of Event 

*The agenda is subject to change 

Our events are CPD certified. This event is equivalent to 3 CPD points.
A certificate is available on request post-event to all attendees.



Speaker callout

We are committed to bringing the latest policy information with engaging dialogue and practical case studies to make a real impact in the public sector. If you are a knowledge expert in your field or have an inspiring case study which would make an impact to Public Sector organisations, we would love to hear from you. Please email with your name and contact details, linkedin profile and a summary of your project or area or expertise and we will be in touch.


Central Edinburgh, to be confirmed in due course.


Delegate rates (excluding VAT):

  • Reduced rate: 1 place £145 + VATpp (Voluntary/charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Standard rate: 1 place £245 + VAT | 2+ places £195 + VAT per place (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary/charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Private Sector rate: 1 place £295 + VAT | 2+ places £245 + VAT per place (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For more information please email or phone 0131 285 1635

10 September 2019
Central Edinburgh
United Kingdom



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