National Improvement Framework

​​​​The National Improvement Framework and Improvement Plan (NIF) was established in 2015 and set out a clear vision for Scottish Education based on delivering Excellence and Equity. It has four priorities:

  • Improvement in attainment, particularly in literacy and numeracy
  • Closing the attainment gap between the most and least disadvantaged children and young people
  • Improvement in children and young people's health and wellbeing
  • Improvement in employability skills and sustained, positive school-leaver destinations for all young people

To deliver this improvement, six ‘drivers’ were identified. These are:

  • School Leadership: how we develop and support our head teachers and how we develop leadership across all parts of our school community
  • Teacher Professionalism: how we support teachers in their professional development
  • Parental Engagement: how we ensure the maximum benefit of parental involvement and engagement in children’s learning and in the life of the school
  • Assessment of Children’s Progress: how we gather information about children’s progress and how we use this information to support improving outcomes for all
  • School Improvement: every school has a responsibility to evaluate how well it is doing against the National Improvement priorities and other performance measures. These are evaluated by the schools themselves, by the local authority and by HMI inspections
  • Performance Information: how we gather and analyse information to help us target areas for improvement, show where we have been successful and where we may need to do more.

The Scottish Government reviews the NIF annually and publishes an Improvement Plan which is informed by priorities drawn from the regional, local, and school level improvement plans. It is also informed by the data set out in the National Improvement Framework Interactive Evidence Report (NIFIER).

​The school information dashboard represents a change to the way that school and national level information and data is presented through Parentzone Scotland. It brings together a wide range of information, previously featured on Parentzone Scotland, and the Scottish Government website, along with some additional elements, to fulfil this commitment.

Assessment of Children’s Progress

Assessment is a central part of everyday learning and teaching for every child and young person. It is the process through which learners and their teachers identify where children and young people are doing well and what they need to do to continue progressing in their learning.

Effective assessment in the Broad General Education ensures that a child or young person gets the support they need, when they need it, and that they are continually challenged to achieve their best.

As part of ongoing learning

Children and young people's progress, strengths and needs are assessed as part of day-to-day learning and teaching. Teachers and others do this by, for example, watching and listening to learners carrying out tasks, by looking at what they write or make and by considering how they answer questions. Children and young people are also encouraged to make judgements about their own learning and set themselves targets for improvement.

Time to time (periodically)

From time to time, teachers assess children and young people's learning and achievements in order to record and report on their progress and plan future learning. Assessment information can be shared with parents and carers and with learners themselves. This helps ensure that their progress is on track and that any necessary action is taken to support learning.

At key points, milestones and transitions

Transitions are the moves children and young people make, from home to early learning; from childcare settings to primary school; from stage to stage and class to class, and from one school to another. This includes the move from primary to secondary, through Curriculum for Excellence levels, and from the Broad General Education to the Senior Phase. At these transition points it is important that assessment information is valid and reliable so as to ensure that the pace of learning continues and that teachers are ready to meet the needs of all the children and young people coming into their classes.

Further information

A new leaflet, 'Assessing Children’s Progress: A Guide for Parents and Carers', has been developed to provide further information on assessment for parents.

PDF file: Assessing Children’s Progress: A Guide for Parents and Carers (2.5 MB)

The National Parent Forum of Scotland has also produced some information about the National Improvement Framework.

PDF file: National Improvement Framework: Sharing information for better learning (345 KB)