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Children's development at the start of school in Scotland and the progress made during their first school year: An analysis of PIPS baseline and follow-up assessment data

DescriptionThis report shows the results of analysis on the starting points and progress of children in Scotland in Primary 1 in early maths, early literacy and non-cognitive development and behaviour.
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateJanuary 06, 2016


Peter Tymms, Christine Merrell and Hannah Buckley*
Centre for Evaluation & Monitoring, Durham University, UK
* University of York, UK

ISBN 978 1 78544 894 2 (web only publication)
ISSN 2045 6964
PPDAS 61555

This document is also available in pdf format (2.1 MB)


1. Executive summary

1.1 Background to the report
1.2 The PIPS on-entry baseline and follow-up assessment
1.3 Sample
1.4 Key findings from the analysis
1.4.1 Start of Primary 1
1.4.2 Progress to the End of Primary 1

1.5 Conclusions

2. Introduction

2.1 Background to the PIPS on-entry baseline and follow-up assessment and its use in Scotland
2.2 The scope and structure of the report

3. Establishing a representative sample of PIPS data for Scotland and a stable sample of schools in Scotland for trend analysis

3.1 Characteristics of the 2012/13 sample
3.1.1 Sample size
3.1.2 Home background (deprivation index)
3.1.3 Age
3.1.4 Gender
3.1.5 Pre-school experience
3.1.6 English as an Additional Language

3.2 Characteristics of the data sets for Primary 1 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15 trends over time analyses
3.2.1 Trends over time

4. Children's development at the start of Primary 1 and progress to the end of academic year 2012/13

4.1 The content of the PIPS assessment
4.2 Item maps at the start of Primary 1
4.2.1 The full PIPS cognitive development scale
4.2.2 Early mathematics
4.2.3 Early reading
4.2.4 Picture vocabulary
4.2.5 Phonological awareness

4.3 Differences between groups on the cognitive measures at the start of Primary 1
4.3.1 Age
4.3.2 Gender
4.3.3 Deprivation Are boys or girls particularly affected by deprivation?

4.4 Levels of personal and social development (PSD): differences between groups
4.4.1 Age
4.4.2 Gender and deprivation

4.5 Progress in cognitive development and PSD in Primary 1
4.5.1 Cognitive development
4.5.2 Differences between groups Age, gender and deprivation Deprivation

4.6 Personal and social development
4.6.1 Differences between groups

5. Comparisons with England

5.1 Representativeness and size of the sample
5.2 On entry to school
5.2.1 Early mathematics
5.2.2 Early reading
5.2.3 Personal and social development

5.3 Progress
5.3.1 Early mathematics
5.3.2 Early reading
5.3.3 Personal and social development

6. Trends over time for 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15

6.1 Age on entry
6.2 Start of Primary 1
6.2.1 Cognitive development
6.2.2 Cognitive measures with age, gender and deprivation

6.3 Progress during Primary 1
6.4 Personal and social development
6.4.1 Start of Primary 1 Age, gender and deprivation


Appendix A

Description of method to establish a representative sample of PIPS data for Scotland and a stable cohort for trend analysis
Representativeness of the 2012/13 Scottish cohort

Appendix B

Personal and social development scales
Adjustment - Comfortable
Adjustment - Independence
Personal - Confidence
Personal - Concentration (Self-directed activities)
Personal - Concentration (Teacher-directed activities)
Personal - Actions
Social - Relationships with peers
Social - Relationships with adults
Social - Rules
Social - Cultural awareness
Social - Communication

Appendix C

Item maps at the start of Primary 1

Appendix D

Supplementary information

Appendix E

Characteristics of children who are old for Primary 1
PSD for older children

Appendix F

Does the link between deprivation and progress vary across schools or are some schools better at improving equity?