Response 719914774

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The Scottish Government generally seeks to publish responses to a consultation, in summary and where possible in detail. We would like your permission to publish:

Please select one item
Your response along with your full name
Ticked Your response only (anonymous)
Please do not publish my response at all

Section A - A Use of SHS

1.. What are the main social survey topics that you use in the SHS? Please tick all that apply. Please distinguish between the topics in your following answers.

Please select all that apply
Key adult characteristics
Health/disability and caring responsibilities
Accommodation/housing experiences
Neighbourhoods and community safety (including perception of local crime rate and local police performance, harassment and discrimination)
Education - qualifications
Employment/economic activity
Transport – Travel Diary
Transport – use of private/public transport, congestion
Perceptions of local government and services
Participation in sports activities
Ticked Participation in cultural activities
Environment – access to the outdoors, green space, land use
Environment – climate change
Internet access and use
Other - please indicate

2. . What do you use the SHS for? We are particularly interested in how analysis of SHS data is used for informing, monitoring and evaluating policy and practice decisions, including examples of where analysis has influenced decision making. Please be as specific as possible in your answers.

Please explain
Redacted text. The SCENe network is made up of Creative Scotland (CS), Historic Environment Scotland (HES), Museums and Galleries Scotland (MGS) and the Scottish Government and as such it represents the key stakeholders and users of the Cultural questions included in chapter 13 of the Scottish household Survey (SHS). The SHS is very important to us as cultural/ heritage organisations in Scotland as it is our main reliable and regular source of behaviour towards and attitudes towards organisations we work with from the general public. Specifically the survey gives us data on the Scottish population attending a range of cultural events and places and taking part in cultural practices. CULT4B is used as the source for SG National Indicator ‘Increase cultural engagement’. The Measuring Success Steering Group for the Scottish Historic Environment Strategy are in the process of proposing changes to the SG National Indicator measure for indicator on Historic Sites from Percentage of A-listed buildings on the Buildings at Risk Register (BARR). A possible option is to use results from CULT3A, G. Creative Scotland uses a number of SHS indicators as performance indicators. These include overall cultural engagement and Children’s cultural engagement, covered in chapter 14 of the SHS report. Historic Environment Scotland have committed to this in their recent Corporate Plan and Creative Scotland use this data frequently in their EDI monitoring. The SHS is the data source with most reliable data in Scotland for applied research looking into significant differences in cultural attendance. MGS regularly uses data from the SHS to respond to Scottish Government enquiries. We use data to gain a high-level picture of attitudes towards and opinions towards the sector we support. The local-authority level data gives us intelligence to support our work with over 460 museums in all parts of Scotland. We all recognise that SHS is a crucial source of data for researchers interested in the cultural sector. These include consultants we commission to explore impact of our sectors in relation to our strategies and wider government agendas. Other users include academics conducting more complex analysis. Even if they work independently, our organisations utilise their research outputs to improve our insight and our support for the cultural sectors. Outwith the section on culture, RF10C and RF10D are relevant questions for many of the organisations we represent and support. These are important data sources for the Local Government Benchmarking Framework, including C&L 5c: Percentage of adults satisfied with museums and galleries.

3.. Are there any alternative evidence sources available for the topics and/or questions you use in the SHS?

Please select one item
Ticked No

Section B - Views on options for 2017

4.. What would be the impact of SHS option A for your organisation’s use of the SHS? Please distinguish between the different topics you use when answering.

Please explain
As outlined above the annual production of the top line data for culture is essential to the reporting and strategic development of our organisations. If these questions were to move to a biannual frequency it would have a detrimental impact on our operations. We believe the questions in CULT, some asked annually and some asked biennially, are at the lowest desirable frequency.

5.. What would be the impact of SHS option B for your organisation’s use of the SHS? Please distinguish between the different topics you use when answering.

Please explain
Reducing the overall year worth’s survey sample size by around a third will have a knock on effect in relation to sizes of sub-groups within the sample. The lag time between survey administration, to achieving sufficient sample sizes from pooled data for sub-populations would be lengthened. This would result in less correspondence to monitoring and reporting cycles turn around for applied research into areas of priority for our organisations and the Scottish Government e.g. equalities.

6.. Do you prefer option A or option B?

Please select one item
Ticked Option A
Option B
What is the reason for your option preference?
We have selected option A as we suspect that there are other topics in this survey which could follow the example of CULT. Whilst we recognise the requirement to reduce costs we believe that both Option A and B present problems. We have outlined these below under the appropriate questions and suggested ways to mitigate these problems. As an alternative we believe there is sufficient scope for the reduction and simplification of the culture questions within the biennial survey which could achieve the same, if not greater, savings.

7.. Under option A (biennial) half of the topics would be asked in 2017 (odd year) and half in 2018 (even year) (assuming this is the model adopted for 2018-2021). Do you have any views on what topics should be asked in 2017 and 2018?

Please explain
The questions on use and satisfaction with local authority culture and sport and leisure facilities (RF10C and RF10D) should be kept in every year as these are important data sources for the Local Government Benchmarking Framework. Only four variables in CULT section are asked every year and it is important they continue to be asked at this frequency within this continuous cross-sectional survey. These relate to the participation, attendance and frequency of participation and attendance. And are used for a number of performance indicators at the organisation and national level (please refer to our response to question 2). Please note that variable CULT7 which is currently biennial is especially important for eliciting attitudes from the general population towards culture, heritage and the arts. We would rather this question was asked annually, rather than every two years. This will help understand the impact of culture, arts and heritage on communities corresponding to the emphasis in the Scottish Government’s Strategy for the Historic Environment Our Place in Time and Going Further: The National Strategy for Scotland’s Museums and Galleries. We welcome clarity on the status of CULT7 which the Measuring Success Steering Group are considering as headline measure: specifically whether is proposed for biennial inclusion, or deletion. The majority of variables in the CULT section are already asked on a biennial basis and we are happy with this frequency on the whole. We suspect that there may be other topics in the survey where questions could also be dropped from an annual to a biennial basis to bring down the costs of the survey overall.

8.. Under option B (reduction in sample size), a small reduction in full sample topic coverage of around 4 minutes (around 7% of questions) is necessary to maintain current ‘one third sample questions’ at around their present sample size. How should this be achieved?

Please select one item
i. By cutting topics completely
Ticked ii. By reducing breadth of larger topics
iii. By introducing more biennial topics and questions
iv. By introducing more one third sample questions

9.. In order to contribute to the 4 minute reduction, which of the topics which you use do you think could be:

Please be specific as possible in your answers.
There are a number of questions which are currently included in the biennial survey which we feel could be streamlined, reduced and/ or updated which would not only reduce costs to the SHS but also improve the quality and usefulness of the data generated. i) Questions which could be cut completely or reduced in breadth: CULT 8 questions (7 questions): These questions are all about website usage and seem outdated. We suggest some consultation on creating a reduced number of variables which are future proofed to reflect digital interactions with cultural and heritage organisations. We would like a reworked question on digital engagement. The resulting data would be more meaningful and the necessary questions would take up less space and time in SHS. CULT3 D – Which, if any, of these kinds of places or events are you likely to attend in the next year? And CUL4 D – Which, if any, of these kinds of Activities are you likely to attend in the next year?: These questions ask about intended behaviour and the variables asking about actual behaviour are more reliable and robust in our opinion. i) Go biennial Of all the variables in the section currently asked on an annual basis, we are most open to CULT 5 and CULT 6 (14 questions) becoming biennial. These questions are all about the childhood experience and we would not expect to see huge variation in results on a biennial basis. However, we recognise that this could be an important control variable in further analysis, so would rather it stayed in on an annual basis.

10.. Under option B (cut in sample size), would you prefer local authority data to be published on a:

Please select one item
Two year rolling average basis every year
Ticked Two year basis every two years (i.e. 2017 and 2018 data would be published in 2019, 2019 and 2020 data would be published in 2021)
What is the reason for your preference?
We have chosen the two year basis every two years as it would avoid difficulties in understanding and reporting on rolling averages. But if given useful guidance by SG, we are open to the first option.

Section C - Looking Ahead

11.. Looking ahead to 2018-2021 , the Scottish Government may need to make further reductions to the SHS. If this is necessary, would you prefer any further changes to the SHS to be based on:

Please select one item
i. A reduction in the overall SHS sample size
ii. A reduction in the frequency of SHS data collection
Ticked iii. A reduction in SHS topic coverage
iv. Other – please state
Please explain why.
The key strengths of SHS currently are its national coverage, regularity, sample size and robust processes. We recommend that the Scottish Government works with SHS stakeholders to streamline the variables within each topic currently covered. We also recommend that SG looks to other ways of reducing the cost of the survey, including the way it is administered. This could be informed by the experience of other large scale surveys looking to make cost savings including Scotland’s Census.

12.. What would be the impact on the work of your organisation if there were to be a further:

Please be specific as possible in your answers.
For the first option a reduction in sample size would be concerning given the analysis we conduct on sub-populations. For example, comparing people who have engaged with culture with those who have not. Reducing the survey sample can still allow for data to be pooled across longer timeframes. This is enabled through SHS’s addition to the UK Data Portal, pooling data from a number of years. However revealing, commenting and acting upon any trends and time series in equality patterns may become unfeasible within policy timeframes. It should be noted there are already limitations in the SHS with respect to gathering sufficient population sub-samples for analysis within a manageable timeframe, for example for BAME groups given small numbers of respondents within a year. We understand that boosting samples to minority groups to alleviate this limitation is not an option for SHS in its current form as a wholly random sample drawn from PAF. However, boosting the sample for CULT questions, giving information on any top-up costs, may be an option SG can discuss with SCENe partners. This option for reducing in the overall sample size is most concerning in light of upcoming equalities research in cultural participation and attendance. SHS gives the only reliable data in Scotland for applied research looking into significant differences in cultural attendance between groups split by responses to variables including: • urban and rural areas (SHS_6CLA) • age groups (HA4) • levels of highest qualification (HEDQUAL8) • socio-economic characteristics (SEG) • income groups (ANNETINC) • social industrial and NSSEC analytic classifications (HIHSIC, HIHSOC, NSSEC, NSSEC2) • derived variables in relation to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (MD12PC15/ MD12DEC/ MD12QUIN) For the second option we feel this would make SHS less valuable for the pace of policy decisions and support decisions our organisations make. Annual reporting of sub-sectors in culture and monitoring against relevant strategies would be hindered. For the third option it would depend on the topic. If the topic was culture then the impact would be significant. As you know, we do not have a specific culture survey in Scotland like DCMS’ Taking Part run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in England. As a result Scotland already has comparatively less population data regarding cultural engagement than England. The exclusion from culture from SHS would be extremely unwelcome. We recognise there are benefits arising from culture questions being included in a survey asking about wider topics. This especially relates to the information collected about households, and individuals in households.

Section D - Any other comments and information about your organisation

13.. Do you have any other comments about the SHS or this consultation?

Please explain
Cultural and heritage bodies already used SHS macrodata and microdata to plan their support and advocate for their sectors. Their interaction is generally as browsers and downloaders. We support the steps SG has taken in its open data strategy in line with the OECD 2007 principle. The opening up of SHS data on various data platforms there is huge potential for further exploratory analysis and use in pragmatic interfaces. We encourage the Scottish Government to continue to support the inclusion of a section on culture and heritage within the SHS. Although administrative data, user-generated and technological-generated data offer increasing potential, the nature of a large-scale nation-wide survey is still very valuable. We want to continue to use SHS to help plan services for Scotland with its up to date and accurate information on characteristics, attitudes and behaviour of people living in Scotland.

14.. What sector do you work in?

Please select one item
Central government
Local government
Other public sector (e.g. NDPB)
Higher/further education (excluding students)
Ticked Third sector (Voluntary and charity)
Private sector
Journalists / media
Other (please specify)

15.. What is the main topic area(s) that your organisation as a whole focuses on?

Please select all that apply
Income and wealth
Ticked Culture
Young People
Other – please state