Insight: What's New

New in the February 2022 release of Insight

COVID-19 Statement - February 2022

The time period covered by these statistics means that the results will be affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In particular, the cancellation of exams and external assessment of coursework in 2020, and the use of the Alternative Certification Model in 2021, will have affected the attainment of many 2020/21 school leavers. It is also likely that the pandemic will have continued to affect the destination choices made by, and opportunities available to, some school leavers in 2020/21.

The impacts of these different approaches to certification upon school leaver attainment means that care should be taken when making comparisons over time. The attainment data provides an accurate reflection of the attainment with which school leavers in Scotland left school; for this reason attainment data for 2020/21, 2019/20 and previous years are presented together.

Note that these statistics now include the attainment of those learners who registered for the Incomplete Evidence Contingency (IEC) process, introduced as part of the Alternative Certification Model (AMC) 2021, to allow learners who meet specific criteria to undertake assessments and be resulted post-August 2021. Any IEC entries that were subsequently resulted are included as part of this February release.

New Data

This release updates the National Dashboard Measures using 2020/21 leavers data from Skills Development Scotland (SDS). The Update will also contain post administrative review data from the 2021 diet and attainment gained through the Incomplete Evidence Contingency.

Virtual Comparator

The virtual comparator is designed to offer a comparison for your school taking account of key background characteristics (sex, deprivation, additional support needs and stage of leaving / stage) of your pupils. It is possible for changes in the virtual comparator to occur. This happens if there are changes in the underlying data which feeds into Insight and which is used to build the virtual comparator. The VC has been designed so that in most cases changes are small and the messages presented should not be affected.

You may notice some changes to previous years’ comparators values and commentaries in Insight. While the methodology for selecting the VCs has not changed (i.e. VCs continue to be assigned based on the four key characteristics), we are aware that VCs have been reselected for this release, even though there are no changes to the underlying data. In previous years, changes to the VCs were expected and occurred when the underlying data changed only. We are investigating why this has occurred.

A health check was conducted on the virtual comparator in 2016, the results of which were reassuring and showed that the messages provided to schools remained consistent when the virtual comparators were reselected multiple times (on the same characteristics).


New in the September 2021 release of Insight

COVID-19 Statement -September 2021

Entry and attainment figures for the years up to and including 2019 are derived from different awarding approaches than 2020 and, separately, 2021. Comparisons of entries, attainment volumes and attainment rates should only be made with full consideration and recognition of each of these different approaches.

Note that these statistics do not include 465 entries (282 pupils) who have registered for the Incomplete Evidence Contingency (IEC) process, introduced as part of the Alternative Certification Model (AMC) 2021 to allow learners who meet specific criteria to undertake assessments and be resulted post-August 2021. Any IEC entries that are subsequently resulted will be included as part of the February release. The number entered for and resulted may change between September and February.

New Data

This release updates Local Dashboard Measures using 2020/21 cohort data.

New Features

This release contains new and recently added features to make Insight easier and more responsive for users, including:

New in the February 2021 release of Insight

COVID-19 Statement - updated February 2021

For 2020 the absence of external assessment information, and the Ministerial direction to award estimated grades, have led to a different pattern of attainment than we have seen in previous years. The results for 2020 should not be directly compared to those in previous years or future years. The 2020 Insight data cannot be used to directly demonstrate subject, school or authority improvement compared with previous years. Care should also be taken when looking at your school attainment compared to the virtual comparator.

New Data

This release updates the National Dashboard Measures using 2019/20 leavers data from Skills Development Scotland (SDS). It will also contain post administrative review data of 2020 results.

South Lanarkshire S4 Data Issue

The S4 data issue, as described below, has been resolved.

New in the December 2020 release of Insight

COVID-19 statement

Care is required when making any comparisons drawing on the 2020 data. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, schools were closed rapidly in March 2020, affecting assessment and moderation processes for most courses. For 2020 the absence of external assessment information and the Ministerial direction to award estimated grades, have led to a different pattern of attainment than we have seen in previous years. The 2020 Insight data cannot therefore be used to demonstrate subject, school or authority improvement compared with previous years. Users will also consider school context and other sources of information in their analysis.

New Data

This release updates Local Dashboard Measures using 2019/20 cohort data.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Learners that were on track to achieve a full Foundation Apprenticeship received a Letter of Recognition from SDS and SQA confirming that, had it not been for the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the learner was on track to achieve the full FA award. This 'Letter of Recognition' is recognised as evidence for the eligibility requirements for University degree and College course admissions, as per existing published specifications. The FA Letter of Recognition will carry the same Insight tariff points as the full FA Award.

New Features

This release contains new and recently added features to make Insight easier and more responsive for users, including:

South Lanarkshire S4 Data Issue

We have identified a system error relating to Scottish Candidate Numbers which means the data released in December 2020 does not wholly reflect the attainment of S4 pupils within South Lanarkshire. This issue has affected some schools more significantly than others. South Lanarkshire aggregated data and the West Partnership Regional Improvement Collaborative aggregated data will be impacted. We anticipate having this issue fixed and the attainment backdated for the February 2021 Insight release. South Lanarkshire schools may wish to wait until this February 2021 release for a clearer overview of S4 attainment within their schools.


New in the February 2020 release of Insight

New Data

This release updates the National Dashboard Measures using 2018/19 leavers data from Skills Development Scotland (SDS). It will also contain post administrative review data of 2019 exam results.


New in the February 2019 release of Insight

New Data

This release updates the National Dashboard Measures using 2017/18 leavers data from Skills Development Scotland (SDS). It will also contain post administrative review data of 2018 exam results.

New Features

This release contains new and recently added features to make Insight easier and more responsive for users, including:


New in the September 2018 release of Insight

New Data

New Features