Last Updated: Thursday, June 09, 2022

National Action Enquiry Programme Reports 2018-19

What is this?

​​​​​​Since January 2018, educational psychologists from 15 local authorities across Scotland have been undertaking research in:

  1. Closing the poverty-related attainment gap and/ or
  2. Achieving excellence and equity for all, related to numeracy, literacy, health and wellbeing.

Who is this for?

​This will be of particular interest to those involved in the Scottish Attainment Challenge and those interested in closing the poverty related attainment gap.

Improvement questions

Some of the impro​vement questions asked in 2018-19:

  • Can a valid, reliable and robust scale be developed to measure wellbeing in families in Scotland?
  • What psychological factors are present in the development of mathematics?
  • Does the implementation and evaluation of the Numicon approach + numeracy language enrichment in 3 Challenge School improve numeracy attainment outcomes for c​hildren within SIMD 1 and 2?​
  • Will introducing a nurturing approach whole-school lead to more young people being included in mainstream school throughout their secondary education?
  • How can teachers use metacognitive knowledge to enhance children’s ability to solve problems in numeracy during the First level of Curriculum for Excellence?​​

About this research​


The National Action Enquiry Programme for Educational Psychologists is supported by Education Scotland, the Association of Scottish Principal Educational Psychologists (ASPEP) and the British Psychological Society (BPS): Scottish Division of Educational Psychology (SDEP) to carry out research which will help to inform priorities for Scottish education.

Why was this done?

The need for an evidence informed approach is supported by OECD, EEF and National Improvement Framework key documents. Educational psychologists are well placed to inform this research base on Scotland's children as research and development is one of their core functions / roles.

What was done?

Educational psychologists from across Scotland have undertaken research considering the excellence and equity agenda set forward by the Scottish Government. The focus for the 2018-19 programme has been closing the poverty-related attainment gap and or achieving excellence and equity for all related to numeracy, literacy, health and wellbeing. This could be across any stage of learning as educational psychologists work with children from ages 0-25. Fifteen local authorities and one Regional Improvement Collaborative (RIC) took this opportunity to be involved.

The programme was launched in January 2018 in Glasgow, with a further symposium​ in Stirling in December 2018 which was supported by Education Scotland to allow psychologists to share practice and offer supportive challenge for each other.

Throughout 2018-19, the research was undertaken and/ or written by the educational psychologists which has culminated in a 800-1000 word report for practitioners and leaders in education and is accessible through the National improvement Hub.

Please note that the research findings from each paper are representative of the findings and research from author/s and/ or local authorities.

What was the impact?

This year (2018-19), 23 research papers have been produced and quality assured by the profession on closing the poverty-related attainment gap and achieving equity and excellence for all. The impact of the research is detailed within each paper. The Regional Improvement Collaborative paper is of particular note as it involved collaboration across four authorities which culminated in recommendations for development of the numeracy workstream for the Forth Valley Regional Improvement Collaborative.

The research written for this national programme continues to be developed by educational psychologists within their own services. Therefore, more detailed information on the research aims to be available on each educational psychological services website or available on request from the authors.

Action reports

​The action enquiry papers this year are researching:
(Please note that some papers are relevant to more than one category):​



Health and wellbeing:

Engaging parents:

​Children and young people's views:

Forth Valley and West Lothian Regional Improvement Collaborative joint approach:

Each Educational Psychology Services from Forth Valley and West Lothian Regional Improvement Collaborative each researched an aspect on numeracy which was relevant to their local authority. A paper was then progressed which analysed common psychological factors identified within each of these projects. These papers can be found below:

About the author(s)

All of the researchers are educational psychologists working in local authority educational psychology services.

Related research/reading

The literature reviews in each of the summary reports will provide useful reading materials and references for specific research papers which will assist you in your own research and teaching.


The findings and recommendations from the research and development project are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Education Scotland.​​​​​