Last Updated: Monday, September 05, 2022

Closing the poverty-related attainment gap through effective use of data

What is this?

This exemplar explains how Inverclyde Council use data dashboards to support leaders and practitioners to track and analyse progress of individual learners to address the poverty-related attainment gap and raise attainment for all.

Who is this for?

This exemplar will be useful to local authority and school leaders in primary and secondary schools. The exemplars are for use in the broad general education (BGE).

Inverclyde have used data packs for some time that allow schools to analyse their progress and identify next steps. These packs were produced annually and were analysed to reflect on the school’s progress through and at the end of the year and identify next steps.

While this was very useful, Inverclyde were keen to develop something more responsive that schools could access at any point in the academic year to analyse their progress. They were also keen to ensure that schools had data that could be filtered through various lenses to identify groups of learners/individuals requiring support in an easy to use format.

A dashboard was created to facilitate the use of:

  • data that was live and would support establishments on their improvement journey
  • data that would impact effective decision-making
  • data that outlined individual and targeted group learner progress; and
  • data that would inform overall progress with the ability to focus on the poverty-related attainment gap.

The ‘How the Dashboard Works’ video gives a fuller explanation of its use. The dashboard exemplar also allows readers to trial the use of the dashboard with sample data.

Impact for senior managers

  • Easy to use – data is extracted from SEEMiS when you need it – no requirement to manipulate the data.
  • The dashboard provides key information under a variety of lenses.
  • The dashboard allows for both accountability data and improvement data.
  • Real time data ensures improved decision-making processes to better meet the needs of learners and families.
  • The layering facility within the dashboard allows for crucial in-depth analysis of a learners’ journey
    • Attendance/Late coming issues
    • Gap issues
    • Specific groups
    • Family issues impacting attainment

Impact for class teachers

  • Teachers are better prepared for target setting meetings as they are able drill down to individual learners or specific groups of children.
  • Improves decision making on interventions required to support learners and families

Impact for local authority staff

  • The dashboard has been used with central local authority staff to support and challenge schools to identify in depth gaps and next steps.
  • The equity lead has supported schools to set aims that have contributed to Inverclyde’s stretch-aims to close the poverty-related attainment gap making stretch-aims both ambitious and achievable.

Next steps

Inverclyde have also created similar dashboards for use in secondary schools and in early learning centres that will be trialled and amended to suit users’ needs.

How the Dashboard works

Impact of using the Dashboard

Improvement questions

  • How effective is the services use of data to target, select and evaluate the impact of initiatives?
  • To what extent is our self-evaluation informed by effective analysis of data focused on the poverty-related attainment gap?
  • How confident are we from our data analysis that the poverty-related gap is closing over time and that progress is being sustained?
  • Are we clear from the analysis of our data on the level of progress being made in both our universal and targeted approaches?
  • How confident are we that all of our staff and partners understand how to use data effectively to monitor the impact of our interventions and approaches?
  • To what extent is our self-evaluation underpinned by a shared strong understanding of our data?
  • To what extent is our effectiveness in using data and evidence enabling us to set out clear outcomes and measurable targets?


Excel File: Inverclyde BGE Dashboard (235 KB)