Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy

SSLN logo

The Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy (SSLN) was a national sample-based survey which monitored performance in literacy and numeracy in alternate years at P4, P7 and S2. Information from the survey was also used to inform improvements in learning, teaching and assessment within the classroom. The SSLN was developed by a partnership of Scottish Government, Education Scotland and the Scottish Qualifications Authority. It was aligned with Curriculum for Excellence and included written and practical assessments.

The first numeracy survey took place in all schools in May 2011; the report on the findings was published in spring 2012. This was followed by the first literacy survey in May 2012. There was subsequently a 2013 numeracy survey, a 2014 literacy survey, a 2015 numeracy survey and a 2016 literacy survey. In each case the report was published in the following spring.

All reports can be foundhere:

Resources to inform improvements in learning and teaching practice were made available by Education Scotland following the publication of reports. These can be found here:


Role of SQA

SQA had responsibility for all operational aspects of the SSLN including the development and trialling of assessment tasks, printing and distribution of survey materials, the administration of the survey in schools and data capture of the survey results. SQA was also responsible, with Education Scotland, for developing criteria for assessing literacy and numeracy at first, second and third levels for the survey.