Decorative

How is Scotland Performing?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Scotland has a National Performance Framework (NPF), and you can find out more about it in this key issues briefing from SPICe.

It includes 11 outcomes , and the performance of those outcomes is measured by a total of 81 National Indicators. This blog provides a snapshot of the current performance of the National Indicators, and we plan to update it on the first Monday of the month.

For example one outcome is all about Children and Young People, and the outcome is that “We grow up loved, safe and respected so that we realise our full potential”. 

So, how is that outcome measured? 

The NPF actually identifies seven different indicators for this outcome, and one of these is titled “child and social development”, and specifically measures the “percentage of eligible children with no concerns, at their 27-30-month review”.  The indicator relates to Health Visitors’ assessment of children’s development and picks up the number of children who turned 27 months old during the financial year of interest (April to March) and who were active on the Scottish Immunisation & Recall System (SIRS).  

How do we know if things are getting better, worse or staying the same?

To help simplify a complex array of statistical measures and get a sense of the overall direction of the NPF, each one of the 81 National Indicators is assessed as to whether its performance is improving, maintaining or worsening.

That decision, for each indicator, is based on its own “Criteria for Change”

For example, If we look at the Criteria for Change for the Economic Growth indicator, we can get an idea of how this works. This indicator measures how well the Scottish economy is growing compared to recent history. It compares Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the most recent year against the average annual GDP growth across the three previous years.

The Criteria for Change for this Indicator are:  

Performance Improving means: 0.1 percentage points or more higher than the average annual growth rates for the preceding 3 years
Performance Maintaining means: within +/- 0.1 percentage points of the average annual growth rates for the preceding 3 years
Performance Worsening means: 0.1 percentage points or more lower than the average annual growth rates for the preceding 3 years  

So, are things getting better, worse or staying the same?

Updated at 4 October 2021

This section outlines how each of the 81 Indicators is performing.  

The NPF was last refreshed and reviewed in 2018.  However, it should be noted that, as at Monday 4 October 2021, of the 81 National indicators 4 Indictors have their Performance to be confirmed and 7 Indicators are in development. That leaves us with 70 indicators on which performance has been assessed.

More detail on the Indicators is provided on the Scottish Government website.

The big picture

The following chart gives an overview of what is happening with each indicator grouped by its relevant outcomes.

A tile chart showing the performance of the National Indicators, broken down by Outcome.

In most cases (44) performance is maintaining, whilst improvement is seen for 16 Indicators, and for 11 Indicators the position is worsening.

Current gaps in data are notable in Education (no performance data in 4 out of 9 Indicators) and for International (only 2 out of 6 Indicators are currently measuring performance).

A breakdown by all the National Indicators

The following table provides an overview of what is happening with each indicator grouped by the relevant outcomes.

Children and Young People

Indicator
Performance
Performance Maintaining
Performance Maintaining
Performance Improving
Performance Maintaining
Performance Maintaining
Performance Maintaining
Performance Maintaining

Communities

Indicator
Performance
Performance Maintaining
Only one data point
Performance Maintaining
Performance Maintaining
Performance Maintaining
Performance Worsening
Performance Maintaining
Performance Worsening

Culture

Indicator
Performance
Performance Maintaining
Performance Maintaining
Performance Worsening
Performance Improving

Economy

Indicator
Performance
Performance Maintaining
Performance Improving
Performance Worsening
Performance Improving
Performance Maintaining
Performance Improving
Performance Improving
Performance Maintaining
Performance Maintaining
Performance Maintaining

Education

Indicator
Performance
Performance to be confirmed
Confidence of children and young people
Indicator in development
Resilience of children and young people
Indicator in development
Performance Improving
Engagement in extra-curricular activities
Indicator in development
Performance Maintaining
Performance Maintaining
Performance Improving
Performance Improving

Environment

Indicator
Performance
Performance Worsening
Performance Maintaining
Performance Maintaining
Performance Improving
Performance Maintaining
Performance Improving
Performance Maintaining
Performance Maintaining

Fair Work & Business

Indicator
Performance
Performance Maintaining
Performance Worsening
Performance Worsening
Performance Improving
Performance Improving
Performance Improving
Performance Maintaining
Performance Worsening
Performance Improving

Health

Indicator
Performance
Performance Maintaining
Performance Maintaining
Performance Maintaining
Performance Maintaining
Physical activity
Performance Maintaining
Performance Improving
Performance Worsening
Performance Maintaining
Performance Maintaining

Human Rights

Indicator
Performance
Public services treat people with dignity and respect
Indicator in development
Performance Maintaining
Performance Worsening
Performance Maintaining

International

Indicator
Performance
A positive experience for people coming to Scotland
Indicator in development
Performance Maintaining
Performance Worsening
Trust in public organisations
Indicator in development
International networks
Indicator in development
Performance to be confirmed

Poverty

Indicator
Performance
Performance Maintaining
Performance Maintaining
Performance Maintaining
Performance Maintaining
Performance Maintaining
Performance Maintaining
Performance Maintaining

Simon Wakefield, Senior Researcher and Andrew Aiton, Data Visualisation Manager