Last Updated: Thursday, January 05, 2023

Interventions for Equity

What is this?

This is an initial framework to support the Scottish Attainment Challenge Pupil Equity Funding (PEF).

Who is this for?

​This is aimed at education leaders and practitioners working with learners and their families, especially those affected by poverty.

This framework is based on a range of interventions and approaches that are currently being used in schools across Scotland and will continue to be updated and developed. These are not exhaustive or definitive, but can provide a helpful stimulus for discussions around planning. Decisions schools make about the most appropriate interventions and approaches should be based on effective self-evaluation and improvement planning, including robust measures of impact and progress.

1. Early intervention and prevention

Investing in the early years of a child's life is crucial to developing strong and resilient children and young people.

How can schools develop a literacy-rich curriculum in P1-3 to help to close the vocabulary gap?

Primary One Literacy Assessment and Action Resource (POLAAR)

Developing nurturing relationships in Early Years in Dundee

2. Social and Emotional Wellbeing

Social and emotional wellbeing is essential to ensure children and young people are included, engaged and involved. Promoting positive relationships and behaviour is essential in supporting children's and young people's health and wellbeing throughout their lives.

Aspire Programme Dundee

3. Promoting healthy lifestyles

Increasing levels of physical activity and healthy eating are important in tackling health inequalities. Those living in deprived communities have a higher risk of developing preventable ill-health.

Better Movers and Thinkers

Approaches to physical activity in the primary years

4. Targeted approaches to literacy and numeracy

Skills in literacy and numeracy are key to accessing all other learning, achievement and employment. Schools should have a focus on high quality pedagogy to improve attainment in these areas for the most vulnerable children.

Primary Literacy Coaching Programme in Renfrewshire

Using a Lesson Study approach to improve learning and teaching in numeracy in Glasgow

A Constructivist approach to improving numeracy - Hareleeshill Primary School

Closing the Literacy Gap in Dumfries and Galloway

5. Promoting a high quality learning experience

Providing high quality learning and teaching supports better outcomes for all children and young people but particularly for those from disadvantaged backgrounds. High quality feedback supported by quality dialogue helps learners develop an understanding of their learning and what they need to do to improve their progress.

Effective observation leading to effective assessment

Dylan Wiliam - Using assessment strategies to support feedback

Outdoor Learning as a context and an approach for learning – Middleton Park School – Aberdeen City

Support for literacy skills in Gaelic Medium Education

6. Differentiated support

Identifying and addressing barriers to engagement and learning, in line with Additional Support Needs legislation and Getting it Right for Every Child, contributes to improving the life chances of our most vulnerable learners. Effective and targeted approaches to tracking and monitoring progress supports the identification and removal of barriers to learning.

Monitoring and tracking in Livingston Village Primary School, West Lothian

Supporting children with effective strategies in Gaelic Medium Education

7. Use of Evidence and Data

Using a wide range of evidence and data is essential to support the identification of those children and young people not fully realising their potential and to inform all improvement work.

Closing the Gap with data - Inverclyde

8. Employability and skills development

Preparing children and young people for the world of work and employment gives a firm foundation for their future. Developing employability skills is particularly important for children and young people living in our most deprived communities.

Developing the Young Workforce: Case Studies and professional learning materials

9. Engaging beyond the school

Helping parents to support their children's learning and having high shared ambition, aspirations and expectations are important strategies in raising attainment for the most disadvantaged children and young people.

Family learning at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI

Engaging parents and families: A toolkit for practitioners

A family learning approach to reading - Pizza Reading in Renfrewshire

A family learning approach to maths - Pizza Maths in Renfrewshire

Live support for Gaelic Medium Education homework at Gaelic4Parents

10. Partnership working

Developing partnership working can help schools to offer a wider variety of learning experiences for vulnerable children and young people, both in school and in the community.

The Cost of the School Day Programme, Child Poverty Action Group

The 1 in 5 - Raising Awareness of Child Poverty Project in Edinburgh

11. Professional learning and leadership

Promoting and participating in professional learning and developing practice has significant impact on improving outcomes for learners. Effective leadership at all levels is necessary to drive improved outcomes for vulnerable children and young people.

Supporting professional learning and leadership for educators in Scotland

Teacher Leadership: Using the ‘How good is our project?’ practitioner tool to support self-evaluation and reflection

12. Research and evaluation to monitor impact

The focused use of research and evaluation can help schools to make informed decisions about which interventions are likely to have the biggest impact on the most disadvantaged children and young people.

Developing Action Inquiry in Glasgow

Using Implementation Science to support the implementation of interventions in real world contexts

Collaborative Action Research in West Dunbartonshire Council

Developing Collaborative Action Research to improve impact in Dundee

Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) Toolkit

An EEF toolkit is available to support access to national and international research evidence relating to closing the attainment gap.

This is based around the EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit. The EEF Toolkit provides an accessible summary of educational research designed to inform discussions on the most effective approaches to improving attainment, with a focus on 5-16 year olds and poverty disadvantage. It contains 34 teaching approaches and interventions, each summarised in terms of their average impact on attainment, the strength of the evidence supporting them and their cost.

This toolkit will be useful for education leaders and practitioners to inform decision making on use of Pupil Equity Funding, raising attainment and improving equity. It can be used in conjunction with the range of interventions and approaches provided above.


PDF file: Interventions for equity - Diagram (116 KB)

PDF file: Interventions for equity - Diagram (Gaelic version) (1 MB)

Latest update: An additional publication, Pupil Equity Funding: Looking inwards, outwards, forwards – sharing effective practice to maximise support for learners and practitioners has recently been published to provide further support in developing and refining approaches to PEF (March 2022).