Public performance reports

Education of children

Public Performance Reporting

The Council Plan Connect outlines the council’s objectives for 2017-22. Connect Priorities should not be seen in isolation, they interact with each other and as we achieve success in one, we move closer to success in others. In delivering our vision to ‘improve the quality of life of everyone in South Lanarkshire’ our priorities show how our work links with our partners including our Community Planning Partners.

For daily updates, stories and what’s going on in your area, visit our information and news website South Lanarkshire View

Each year we publish Annual Performance Spotlights which summarise how we have performed in achieving our Connect Priorities. To complement these we have created a suite of individual Public Performance Reports which focus on key areas of council business. This report outlines the performance of our Education services and how this links to the objective(s).

Note: Some 2019-20 performance and results were impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic.

Education remains both a national and a council priority. The Education Resource Plan sets the context for improvement planning in schools, establishments and services within Education Resources. Each school publishes its own Improvement Plan and these can be accessed by following the links to individual school webpages from the council website. In taking forward the Council’s vision to ‘improve the quality of life for everyone’, we support a wide range of learning opportunities for children, young people, adults and families where the focus is on their health and wellbeing and developing their skills. Our purpose is to raise achievement and attainment, inspire learners, transform learning and to work in partnership with our communities so that children and young people have the best start in life and are supported to develop their skills for learning, life and work. To help achieve this our focus will be on taking forward the drivers in the National Improvement Framework and on ensuring inclusion and equality are at the heart of what we do.

There are over 49,000 young people attending nursery, primary, secondary and additional support needs schools in South Lanarkshire. There are 124 primary schools one of which provides Gaelic medium education, 17 secondary schools one of which provides Gaelic medium education, seven additional support needs schools and 23 supported provision bases in the South Lanarkshire area.  Pre-school education is provided in 74 Early Years establishments, along with our partnership agreements with external providers: facilities include 62 nursery classes in schools, 12 community nurseries and partnerships with 79 external providers.

You may find this ‘Glossary of Terms’ from the Education Scotland Parentzone website useful.

The attainment of examination results by our young people is one way in which we can assess how well we are fulfilling our duties to educate our children. The results reported are particularly notable as the highest levels ever recorded: 40.6% of pupils leaving school gained 5 or more Level 6 awards (Highers). 

The celebration of the success of young people also features prominently in schools and services as this helps to raise aspirations, self-esteem and wellbeing. In June 2019, at the South Lanarkshire annual achievement ceremony, 300 young people were presented with a ‘Celebrating Success Award’ in recognition of their achievement. In addition, young people achieved nationally recognised awards through the Youth Learning Service, these included: Duke of Edinburgh Awards (Bronze, Silver and Gold), SQA Employability Awards, Dynamic Youth and Youth Achievement Awards.

The wider achievements of young people and their involvement in shaping their learning journey is having a positive impact with many achieving vocational qualifications, entering into modern apprenticeships as well as attending college to develop their skills through courses and learning programmes.

Achievement and Attainment

What this means These are measures of the percentage of pupils gaining Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework awards. The Scottish Government provides a tool (Insight) which allows our results to be benchmarked with similar pupils from across Scotland.  These are known as our "virtual comparator".
Why this matters Raising attainment and achievement of all children and young people helps to ensure that they are best prepared for life beyond school and helps to tackle the effects of poverty, disadvantage and close the poverty-related attainment gap.
    School Session  
Our performance and how we compare  Comparator 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20   Are we improving?
Percentage of pupils gaining 5 or more awards at level 4 or better SLC 87.4% 87.1% 88.0%  Yes
Virtual Comparator 86.0% 85.0% 86.4%
Scotland 86.7% 85.4% 85.8%
Percentage of pupils gaining 5 or more awards at level 5 or better SLC 63.8% 64.9% 68.8% Yes
Virtual Comparator 64.6% 65.3% 69.8%
Scotland 64.4% 64.3% 67.5%

Percentage of pupils gaining 5 or more awards at level 6 or better

SLC 36.7% 37.2% 40.6% Yes
Virtual Comparator 35.6% 36.7% 42.8%
Scotland 35.5% 36.0% 40.2%
How we have performed in improving this public service

Performance of all school leavers in South Lanarkshire is in line with trends also shown in our Virtual Comparator and in the Scottish average results over the 3 year period.

In session 2019-20 performance in South Lanarkshire is above the National level in all measures but below the Virtual Comparator in 2 out of 3 measures.

Attainment and achievement

What this means Children and young people, throughout their Broad General Education (P1-S3) are assessed regularly to ensure they are making progress. Each year, teachers at P1, P4, P7 and S3 stages report on the Curriculum for Excellence levels that have been achieved by their pupils. These teacher judgements are based on a range of evidence and are moderated within and between schools.
Why this matters Curriculum for Excellence is designed to provide a coherent, more flexible and enriched curriculum for children and young people from 3 to 18. The curriculum includes all of the experiences, which are planned for children and young people through their education.
Our performance and how we compare School Session Are we improving?
Percentage of P1, P4 and P7 combined achieving appropriate CfE Level for their stage or better


Comparator   2018-19  
SLC Literacy 71.7% No data was collected in 2019/20 due to the pandemic
National Literacy 72.3%
SLC Numeracy 79.2% Data collection due to take place for 2020/21
National Numeracy 79.1%
How we have performed in improving this public service In South Lanarkshire Council in 2018-19 performance was slightly below the national level in literacy and slightly above in numeracy.


Our performance and how we compare School Session   
Percentage of S3 pupils achieving CfE Level 3 or better


Comparator   2017-18 2018-19 Are we improving?
SLC Literacy 93.2% 93.2% No data was collected in 2019/20 due to the pandemic
National Literacy 87.3% 87.9%
SLC Numeracy 91.2% 93.0% Data collection due to take place for 2020/21
National Numeracy 89.0% 90.2%
How we have performed in improving this public service In South Lanarkshire Council in 2018-19 performance continued to be above the national level in both numeracy and literacy.

South Lanarkshire is a large authority with comparatively higher levels of deprivation. The ongoing work of the council and its partners to address the still significant issue of youth unemployment remains a priority. We continue to secure and offer many youth employability options catering for all levels of employability skills and experiences, including the Youth Employment Initiative, What’s With Work, H20 plus and Work it Out serving the earliest stages and young people with multiple barriers to employability. 

Proportion of pupils entering positive destinations (initial destinations)

What this means This measure assists schools in assessing how well they are preparing their young people for life beyond school.
Why this matters

By ensuring high levels of positive destinations for school leavers we are able to deliver the Developing the Young Workforce programme; enable young people to meet their potential; support a high skill economy and minimise the longer term effects of long periods of unemployment.

Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 Are we improving?
SLC 96.5% 95.7% 94.8% No,however performance should be viewed in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic
Scotland 94.6% 95.0% 93.3%
How we have performed in improving this public service

The proportion of pupils entering positive destinations has decreased in South Lanarkshire and at the national level. However, performance in South Lanarkshire remains high and is above the national level and we are the 5th highest performing authority in Scotland. To see how we compare against other councils, the data is available on the public performance reporting tool mylocalcouncil.

Our customer satisfaction scores shown below come from the Scottish Household Survey which is undertaken by the Scottish Government in which a small sample of residents are asked questions about our Services. This survey is not routinely conducted with parents/carers of pupils attending schools and so we also show the scores from South Lanarkshire Council’s own Household Survey which is issued to all residents in South Lanarkshire.

Percentage of adults satisfied with local schools

What this means This indicator tells us how satisfied residents are with the quality of public services delivered by our local schools. This data is taken from the Scottish Household Survey and is presented in 3 year rolled averages.
Why this matters It is important to capture some element of the quality of children’s services in terms of the service user’s opinions. Currently the only data for this, which is comparable across all 32 Scottish councils, is measured from data gathered by the Scottish Household Survey.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2015-18 2016-19 2017-20 Are we improving?


(National survey)

73.3% 76.1% 76.5% Yes
Scotland 72.3% 71.8% 71.8%
How we have performed in improving this public service

In the Scottish household survey average for 2017-20, 76.5% of adults expressed satisfaction with local schools; this is better than the national average. To see how we compare against other councils, the data is available on the public performance reporting tool mylocalcouncil.

In 2015 South Lanarkshire Council had a vision to transform our old school buildings into high quality, vibrant, modern, inspirational places of learning and teaching fit for 21st century education and Curriculum for Excellence. This was a programme of consultation and communication involving stakeholder representatives from a mix of teaching and other staff, parents, children and the local community. Our children and staff deserve the best and, with a dedicated specialist team in place, we embarked on the largest school building programme in the UK. By autumn 2019 the council’s ambitious modernisation programme of all Nursery Establishments, Additional Support Needs (ASN), Primary and Secondary schools was complete. With a capital cost of approximately £1.2 billion the programme has consisted of the new build, or major refurbishment, of: 12 Nursery Centres; 124 Mainstream Primary Schools (including 63 nursery classes); 4 ASN Primary Schools; 3 ASN Secondary Schools and 17 Mainstream Secondary Schools – making a total of 160 modernised educational establishments.

Every school pupil in South Lanarkshire is now taught in a modern education establishment which supports and contributes to high quality learning and teaching.

National data is only collected one every two years with the last collection being for school session 2018/19. The table below gives a comparison of the last 3 available data collections.

Follow this link for Information on how to support your child through school 

Percentage attendance at school

What this means We collect information on the number of times pupils attend school and show this as a percentage of the total number of possible attendances.   National data is only published every second year.  
Why this matters A high level of pupil attendance will ensure that there is more opportunity for all pupils to engage and increases the continuity of their learning. Through Integrated Children’s Services each locality has an attendance tracking process that ensures there is early identification of any issues and provides children and their families with additional support if required. 
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 Are we improving?
  SLC 93.4% ---- 92.9% No
  Scotland 93.3% ---- 92.9%
How we have performed in improving this public service There was a slight decrease in the attendance rate compared with the previous results.  However attendance remains high and equal to the national average.  Data is collected every two years - the next set of results will be available in 2020-21. To see how we compare against other councils, the data is available on the public performance reporting tool mylocalcouncil
Exclusion incidents per 1,000 pupils
What this means This indicator measures the number of exclusion incidents per 1,000 pupils,  National data is only published every second year.
Why this matters Schools minimise exclusion by meeting the needs of all pupils who are part of their school community, whatever their ability, background or social circumstances and by promoting positive relationships and behaviours.  Exclusion is a last resort when all other reasonable courses of action have been exhausted, or are inappropriate.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 Are we improving?
  SLC 27.9% ---- 21.2% Yes
  Scotland 26.8% ---- 21.6%
How we have performed in improving this public service Exclusions in primary schools are not common and the exclusion rate per 1,000 pupils remains very low (approximately 0.03% of attendance).  The results show exclusions per 1,000 pupils reducing in 2018-19. The exclusion rate can fluctuate but tends to be in line with the national average.  To see how we compare against other councils, the data is available on the public performance reporting tool mylocalcouncil.

Council objective: Improve achievement, raise educational attainment and support lifelong learning

  • By the end of June 2019, 70 additional primary school staff completed French/Spanish primary training.
  • A South Lanarkshire Council ‘How Good is Our Early Learning and Childcare Toolkit’ has been successfully developed and issued to all local authority funded early learning and childcare establishments.
  • The MCR Pathways programme was introduced in 6 Secondary Schools to support young people to achieve positive outcomes in terms of the wellbeing and learning journey.

Council objective: Work with communities and partners to promote high quality, thriving and sustainable communities

  • 817 people have been involved in volunteering, to become active within their community in supporting Youth Family and Community Learning Service activities, through local youth work, literacy and numeracy provision, delivery of learning opportunities within communities, sports clubs, gala days and celebration events.

Council objective: Ensure schools and other places of learning are inspirational

  • The 128th new primary school opened with the completion of the building of Black Mount Primary School (formerly Walston Primary School) on 20th August. This completes a significant milestone for the Council in terms of modernising the whole of the school estate in South Lanarkshire.
  • The new Early Learning Unit in Hamilton which caters for young children 0-5 with special and complex needs opened to children on 1st October 2019.
  • This completes the Nursery establishment modernisation programme.
  • English as a Second or Other Language (ESOL) Classes were delivered across the 4 localities. 183 learners now feel more confident in speaking English as a second language.

Council objective: Support our communities by tackling disadvantage and deprivation, and supporting aspiration

  • 13 Holiday clubs were run during the summer of 2019 in targeted locations with 727 young people accessing the provision. Of the 727, 445 young people achieved nationally recognised awards (Hi5 and Dynamic Youth Award), 70 required additional support to engage in the activities, and the activities themselves were supported by 7 young volunteers and 1 adult volunteer, trained through the Youth, Family and Community Learning Service Volunteer Development Programme and the Burnbank Family Centre.
  • Nearly 41,000 hours of volunteering were delivered in support of Youth Family and Community Learning Service activities in local communities enhancing social commitment. The total number would likely have been higher but volunteer activity was curtailed in March due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Council objective: Encourage participation in physical and cultural activities

  • There has been an ongoing rise in Youth Music Initiative instrumental music tuition and music-making opportunities for children and young people, including: approximately 7000 young people taking part in school-based musical learning and significant representation from South Lanarkshire Council pupils in national ensembles and over 1,000 primary children have completed a 20 week practical music making project.

Resource Plans are prepared each year by all council Resources to outline the key developments they intend to take forward in the year. Performance and actions relating to Education of children can be found in the following Resource Plans:

Twice a year, performance reports are presented to council committees on progress against the Resource Plans.  In addition, reports detailing progress against the Council Plan Connect Priorities are prepared.

More information on our objectives can be found in the Coucil Plan Connect and also the Annual Performance Spotlights.

Local Government Benchmarking Framework  (LGBF) allows councils to work together, to use performance information in a way which will help understand variations, share knowledge, expertise and good practice, with a view to making improvements. At the core of the framework is an agreed suite of performance indicators. We report the results for these indicators, over time, on the website. Additionally, you can compare our LGBF results with other councils' using the mylocalcouncil tool. Not all local authorities are alike and so family groups of eight ‘similar’ councils have been set up for comparison purposes. Workshops take place throughout the year to discuss the indicators and results – South Lanarkshire Council is actively involved in these discussions.

The information contained within this report reflects the position based on the data available at the time of publication (February 2021).