Glossary


A comprehensive lists of terms used in Insight and the guidance documents. Definitions are grouped in the following key themes:



Fundamental Concepts: Attainment

Key Term

Definition

Further Information

Award

Within Insight an award is an attained qualification which may be a graded or ungraded course.

Graded Course

A graded course is defined as a qualification which has grades assigned on a scale for an award. Awards are mapped to the scales A to D, 1 to 7 or Pass to Distinction.

National Qualifications (NQs)

Scotland's system of National Qualifications (NQs), which is managed by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), National Qualifications include: National units, National Awards and Scottish Group Awards.

SQA National Qualifications Homepage
SQA National Qualifications Catalogue (opens Excel file)

Pupil Census

An annual collection that obtains accurate data on publically funded schools (local authority and grant-aided) and their pupils. The last census was carried out in September 2020.

EAS Pupil Census Publication

Resulted Entries

Attainment data in Insight is based on the result date of a learners' qualifications rather than entries expected to be completed within an academic year.

SCQF Award

SCQF credit-rated qualifications and learning programmes, including those provided by SQA and wider award providers.

SCQF database

Scottish Candidate Number (SCN)

The SCN is the key unique identifier of pupils within the Scottish education system.

Scottish Group Awards

National qualifications made up of National Units, including National Certificates, National progression Awards, Professional Development Awards and Awards.

SQA Group Award

SQA National Award/ SQA National Course

SQA National courses may be graded or ungraded and include National 1 to National 5, Higher, Advanced Higher, and Skills for Work Courses.

SQA National Qualifications Catalogue (opens Excel file)

Subject

Awards that are grouped together due to similarity of content. These subject groupings are also the basis for 'best' attainment in the tariff scale.

Ungraded Course

An ungraded course is defined as a qualification which is not a unit and which is ungraded i.e. the course is awarded on a pass / fail basis without results mapped to individual grades.



Fundamental Concepts: Other

Key Term

Definition

Further Information

Core cohorts

Core cohorts are those for which Insight has pre-calculated data and significance comparisons. Core cohorts are calculated for each establishment and all sex and stage filter combinations.

Establishment

Each unique establishment within Insight sits within the following hierarchy: one National cohort ▶ six Regional Improvement Collaboratives (RICs) ▶ 32 local authorities (LAs) and one 'grant-aided' authority ▶ all mainstream local authority and 'grant-aided' secondary schools.

Fundamental Concepts: Establishment organisation and selection

Learning Partners

The learning partners feature provides a ranking of schools nationally based on how closely they perform to their Virtual Comparator. Schools can choose other schools as learning partners in order to share data without suppression.

Fundamental Concepts: sharing Insight data with other establishments
Step by Step Guide: Learning Partners

Percentage of Attained Entries

Displays values relative to the number of attained courses (excluding 'no award') within the cohort of interest

Pupil's Base Centre Cohort

A pupil's base centre is the key establishment for all of the dashboard measures and the breadth and depth measures. For the 'curricular area' and 'course based' measures, this is the pupil's presenting centre for the attainment. This is usually the centre where the pupil has the most attainment.

Technical guide: Underlying Concepts

School Leaver

A candidate is classified as a School Leaver if they have one or more school leaver records in the given year's Skills Development Scotland Initial Destinations of School Leavers data

Technical guide: Underlying Concepts

Significance

A result has statistical significance when it is very unlikely to have occurred by chance e.g. when a comparison is found to be significant in Insight this means you can be confident that there are real factors behind this difference.

Technical guide: Commentaries

Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD)

SIMD is the official tool for identifying areas of poverty and inequality across Scotland

Deep Dive: Deprivation
http://www.gov.scot/simd

Virtual Comparator (VC)

A virtual cohort that is comprised of similar pupils (based on key demographic characteristics) to pupils in your school. This allows schools to compare their performance to a meaningful benchmark.

Fundamental Concepts: The Virtual Comparator

Wider Award Providers

Providers of non-formal learning awards in Scotland. Wider Achievement awards recognise the life and work skills that come from a wide range of activities which can include sport, mentoring, voluntary work or fundraising activities − whether they take place at school, college or elsewhere

Wider Award Providers



Filters

Key Term

Definition

Further Information

Additional Support Needs (ASN)

The Education (Additional Support for Learning) Scotland Act 2004 (as amended) states that a child or young person has an additional support need where they need additional support in order to benefit from school education. Pupils are recorded as having additional support needs, based on their Pupil Census records. For the purposes of Virtual Comparator matching, these pupils are further grouped by the amount of their time they spend in mainstream education ( <80% or ≥80%).

Based upon (stage roll or basis stage)

This is the stage at which you want to start calculating cohort attainment. It is from this point that learners are tracked as transferring into or away from the school; their attainment can then be included or removed at the point of calculation.

Navigation pack: School Profile Slide 7

Stage (calculation stage)

This is the stage at which you want to finish calculating cohort attainment. The cohort calculation is based on learners recorded by the Pupil Census for the calculation stage and year selected, plus any learners that have left or transferred into or away since the selected basis stage.

Navigation pack: School Profile Slide 7

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

Based on Pupil Census records, EAL indicates pupils who are recorded as having English as a second or additional language.

Least deprived 20%

Pupils whose home address is in the 20% of least deprived data zones as defined by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation

Deep Dive: Deprivation
http://www.gov.scot/simd

Looked After Status (LAC)

Under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995, 'looked after children' are defined as those in the care of their local authority. Based on Pupil Census records pupils are recorded as either being 'looked after at home' or 'looked after away from home'.

https://beta.gov.scot/policies/looked-after-children/

Most deprived 20%

Pupils whose home address is in the 20% of most deprived data zones as defined by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation

Deep Dive: Deprivation
http://www.gov.scot/simd

Positive Destination

Selecting Positive destination restricts results to school leavers in Positive Initial Destinations 'Higher Education', 'Further Education', 'Training', 'Voluntary Work', 'Employment', 'Personal Skills Development' (from Feb 2020 onwards) or 'Activity Agreements' (prior to February 2020)

Deep Dive: Destinations

Pupil Points

Pupils are assigned to groups based on their total tariff attainment relative to the National cohort as a whole. Users can select pupils within the National Lowest 20% group or the National Highest 20% group

Deep Dive: Tariff Methodologies



Initial Destinations

Key Term

Definition

Further Information

Activity Agreement

Includes those for whom there is an agreement between a young person and a trusted professional that the young person will take part in a programme of learning and activity which helps them become ready for formal learning or employment

Deep Dive: Destinations

Candidate Initial Destination

A local benchmarking measure which shows the percentage of young people staying on at school or in a positive initial destination, as recorded in October approximately three months after leaving school

Employment

Includes those who are employed and in receipt of payment from their employers. It includes young people undertaking training in employment through national training programmes such as Modern Apprenticeships

Further Education

Includes leavers undertaking full-time education which is not higher education and who are no longer on a school roll. This may include National Qualifications

Higher Education

Includes leavers following HND (Higher National Diploma) or HNC (Higher National Certificate) courses, degree courses, courses for the education and training of teachers and higher level courses for professional qualifications. It also includes programmes at a level higher than the standard of the National Qualifications, i.e. above SCQF level 7. Leavers with a deferred, unconditional place in higher education have also been included in this category

Inactive candidates

Inactive candidates are pupils who appear in the Pupil Census in a year but then do not appear in the Census in the following year and have no Skills Development Scotland leaver record.

Non-Positive destination

Includes unemployed seeking, unemployed not seeking and not known

Not known

Includes all leavers whose destination is not known either to Skills Development Scotland or to the school attended

Personal Skills Development

Includes those for whom there is an agreement between a young person and a trusted professional that the young person will take part in a programme of learning and activity which helps them become ready for formal learning or employment

Post-School Participation

A national benchmarking measure of the percentage of school leavers in an initial destination (approximately 3 months after leaving school)

Staying on at School

If a candidate is present in the following year's Pupil Census, then the candidate is recorded as 'staying on at school'

Training

Includes leavers who are on a training course and in receipt of an allowance or grant, such as the Employability Fund national training programme. It also includes leavers who are on local authority or third sector funded training programmes that are in receipt of a training allowance

Unemployed Not Seeking

Includes young people who Skills Development Scotland is aware of who are not actively seeking employment/training

Unemployed Seeking

Includes those who are registered with Skills Development Scotland and are known by them to be seeking employment or training actively

Voluntary Work

Includes those undertaking voluntary work, with or without financial allowance, who are not 'unemployed and actively seeking', as per the unemployed definition and those participating in Project Scotland/CSV or other voluntary programmes



Insight Tariff

Key Term

Definition

Further Information

Attainment versus Deprivation

A benchmarking measure of the average tariff point score of school leavers by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation decile

Deep Dive: Deprivation
http://www.gov.scot/simd

Calculation Type

Users are able to filter information based on annual or cumulative tariff measure when calculation stage equals basis stage. When calculation stage does not equal basis stage, no data would be shown when annual tariff is selected. Annual measures are based on attainment within an academic year. Cumulative measures are based on attainment data up to and including a particular academic year.

Deep Dive: Tariff Methodologies
Technical Guide: Tariff Scale
SCQF Interactive Framework
SCQF Qualifications Database


Complementary Tariff Points

The complementary tariff measure is the sum of tariff points accumulated across the best attainment in subjects in which a learner has achievement, up to a maximum of 120 SCQF credit points

Course weight

This is the weight for attaining the full course at that SCQF level (0 for a single unit or combination of units making up an ungraded course, or a variable weight if a course assessment element is involved i.e. added value unit at National 4 or course assessment at National 5 and above).

Grade add-on or Result weight

This is the weight which differentiates between the grade achieved (e.g. A, B, C, D) for the course at the SCQF level. The weight is such that a grade D receives more tariff points than units alone, recognising that a learner has achieved the course.

Grade Neutral

Average Grade Neutral Tariff can be selected as an option in Tariff based measures. It can be selected together with Total or Complimentary Tariff. This tariff methodology does not include any grade add-on for a course - it considers all courses as being ungraded.

Highest 20%

The selected cohort is ordered according to their total tariff or complementary tariff score and allocated into three groups based on attainment (lowest 20%, middle 60% and highest 20%).

Improving attainment for All

A benchmarking measure of the average total tariff or complementary tariff score for the lowest 20%, middle 60% and highest 20% of attainers within a cohort.

Best Attainment

Displaying best attainment ensures no incentive or dis-incentive to go through SCQF levels. When calculating pupil's tariff points it takes the best course result in each subject plus any extra points because of unit attainment at level(s) above.

Lowest 20%

The selected cohort is ordered according to their total tariff or complementary tariff score and allocated into three groups based on attainment (lowest 20%, middle 60% and highest 20%).

Middle 60%

The selected cohort is ordered according to their total tariff or complementary tariff score and allocated into three groups based on attainment (lowest 20%, middle 60% and highest 20%).

SCQF credit points

Credit points are a way of showing how much time it takes, on average, to complete a qualification or learning programme. The SCQF works on the basis that one credit points represents the amount of learning achieved through 10 hours of learning time.

SCQF Level

The SCQF has 12 levels which indicate the level of difficulty of a qualification

Tariff point scale

The tariff point scale provides a summary view of a wide range of achievement and qualifications from a number of awards providers. It is based upon SCQF levels and SCQF credit points and the composition of the qualification.

Total Tariff Points

The total tariff measure is the sum of tariff points accumulated across the best attainment in all subjects in which a learner has achievement



Measures

Key Term

Definition

Further Information

Breadth and Depth

National and local measures that show the number of awards gained and the SCQF level at which they are achieved. There is the option to show 'All SCQF Awards' or only "SQA National Awards". Selecting "SQA National Awards" shows a graded breakdown.

Confidence Level/ Confidence limit

A statistical method that provides limits (sometimes in the form of error bars) to show the reliability of a result. For example, if the confidence level is 95%, it means that if the same population is sampled 100 times, approximately 95 of those cases will fall between the 95% confidence limits.

Course Comparator

Local course measure that shows performance in a course relative to the predicted performance in that course based on attainment in other courses.

Deep Dive: Course Comparator

Curricular Areas

Local course measures that summarise attainment in each of ten curricular area (including the eight areas of Curriculum for Excellence) : Wider Achievement, English and Gàidhlig, Expressive Arts, Health and Wellbeing, Language (apart from English), Mathematics, Religious and Moral Education, Sciences, Social Subjects, Technology.

Literacy

Refers to courses for improving ability to communicate by reading, writing, and listening and talking

Literacy and Numeracy Briefing Paper

Literacy and Numeracy

A benchmarking measure that is based upon the outcomes and assessment standards for SQA's literacy and numeracy units. A 'best fit' approach extends the SQA definition to include a range of other qualifications and learning programs that are used as a proxy for literacy and numeracy at SCQF levels 3 to 6.

Literacy and Numeracy Briefing Paper

Local Benchmarking Measure

These measures provide data on all candidates' achievements during the senior phase, whether or not they are a leaver or they are still at school. They are the stage-based benchmarking measures

National Benchmarking Measure

All of the national dashboard measures consider pupils' achievements on leaving school. Note that these measures only include data for leavers and do not include information on those pupils who remain at the school

Numeracy

Refers to courses for improving ability to use numbers in order to solve problems by counting, doing calculations, measuring, and understanding graphs and charts, and results

Literacy and Numeracy Briefing Paper

Partner Centre

A partner centre is the institution where a school has a partnership arrangement for the teaching of a course externally

Partnership attainment

A local measure that summarises attainment from the partner centre(s) where a school has a partnership arrangement for the teaching of a course externally.

Regression Model

A statistical technique for estimating the relationships among variables E.g. In the Course Comparator measure, the predicted grade band is calculated based on stage (S4, S5 or S6) and attainment in other courses through the National Regression Model.

School Profile

The school profile page includes information about the cohorts in each of the different 'calculation stage' and 'basis stage' combinations. It also provides information on the number of inactive candidates in a cohort.