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National Performance

Scotland Performs

PLEASE NOTE: The new and updated National Performance Framework can now be found at the following link:

We have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society

Why is this National Outcome important?

Although outcomes are generally improving for most people in Scotland they are not improving fast enough for the poorest and most disadvantaged sections of our society, including those who face barriers because of their race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion or belief. Those who have the least access to income, employment and good housing experience higher levels of ill health; often have less physical and psychological resilience to meet challenges; and less power and influence to effect change. Poverty and inequality that is created by prejudice, discrimination or by structural bias  not only diminish opportunity and life experience, but detract from Scotland's economic success and wellbeing as a nation. Tackling inequalities and promoting equality of opportunity and outcome, therefore, remain our major challenge.

What will influence this National Outcome?

Success in achieving this outcome will be influenced by: the progress made in identifying the complex range of barriers, behaviours and determinants which contribute to poverty and inequalities experienced by different groups in Scotland; identifying where the most significant impact can be made on outcomes; taking appropriate action. Specifically, we will continue to advance awareness-raising and anti-discrimination activity, to challenge attitudes, reduce stigma and build a tolerant Scotland. We will continue embedding equality and poverty considerations into decision making at every level and  involving diverse groups of people to create more responsive policies and better outcomes for all.

Success will also be influenced by the quality of the data and information we have on the nature and extent of inequalities in Scotland. We need to understand the changing needs of our increasingly diverse communities and be more responsive in the policies we develop and services we provide. Our capacity to continue to work in partnership across the sectors and in harmony with communities will be crucial.

What is the Government's role?

Scottish Government is committed to action that:

  • Supports the improvement of life chances for all of Scotland's people, and in particular those who face discrimination, disadvantage and prejudice

  • Embeds equality considerations in all aspects of Scottish Government policy development and decision taking, demonstrating leadership for Scotland

  • Supports the development of a robust evidence base which identifies the underlying causes of inequality and supports activity to address it

We will do this by:

  • Engaging directly with diverse communities in order to better understand their concerns, priorities and perspectives

  • Ensuring that public funds are invested, where appropriate, with a focus on deprivation and inequality

  • Using the Equality Act 2010 and the framework provided by the public sector duties to embed equality considerations within the everyday work of the Scottish Government

  • Working across public and private sectors to identify the key determinants of inequalities in Scotland and agree shared responsibility for action

  • Using evidence and equality data to translate this into practical implementation, and taking forward a range of actions to tackle stereotyping (such as evidencing occupational segregation)

Related Strategic Objectives


Safer and Stronger


Wealthier and Fairer


Related National Indicators

d Improve the skill profile of the population

 Reduce underemployment

up Reduce the proportion of employees earning less than the Living Wage

 Reduce the pay gap

down Improve levels of educational attainment

 Increase the proportion of young people in learning, training or work

l Increase the proportion of graduates in positive destinations

l Improve mental wellbeing

l Reduce premature mortality

 Improve support for people with care needs

up Reduce crime victimisation rates

 Reduce the proportion of individuals living in poverty

l Reduce children's deprivation

up Improve access to suitable housing options for those in housing need

up Widen use of the internet

 Increase cultural engagement

 Increase people's use of Scotland's outdoors