We produce a small number of independent research pieces or publications each year, which are listed below. This is in addition to our programme and project-specific publications which can be found on the relevant pages within our Products and Services sections.
If you are interested in finding out more about our research services, visit our research page.
This report details the findings of a survey of councillors elected in 2017 and explores how councillors compare with the Scottish population. The purpose of this survey was to develop a better understanding of Scotland’s current councillors. The survey examined the demographic profile of councillors, such as their age, gender and ethnicity but also looked at questions relating particularly to the councillor role, for example additional employment status, how councillor duties are managed and why councillors chose to stand at the election.
This analysis was carried out by the Improvement Service with the assistance of COSLA, Directors of Finance, and SOLACE. The paper explores how demographic trends and inflation are likely to affect local authority expenditure over the period to 2021.
The National Instrumental Music Survey was first introduced in 2013 to share information regarding the provision of local authority-led Instrumental Music Services in Scotland. This is the fifth consecutive year of the annual survey which includes information on tuition fees, concession rates, instrument hire and loan procedures, pupil numbers, costs of services, instructor numbers, and additional activities.
This research by the Improvement Service, Edinburgh Napier University Business School and
the University of the West of Scotland’s School of Business and Enterprise aimed to establish the current nature and status of talent management across Scotland’s public services. The report identifies a number of implications for practice and proposes some recommendations as to how these could be addressed.
A practitioner report is also available to accompany this research.
This report documents the results from the 2016 Instrumental Music Survey. This is the fourth consecutive year of this national survey and reports on the provision of local authority led Instrumental Music Services in Scotland. Information available includes: tuition fees, concession rates, instrument hire/loan policies, pupil numbers, costs of services and revenue, instructor numbers, and additional activities.
This research looks at the current landscape of place-based approaches to joint planning, resourcing and delivery across Scotland’s local authority areas. It is based on literature review and interviews with 27 local authorities in Scotland.
Instrumental Music Services: Results from the IMS Survey 2015
This document outlines the findings of the Instrumental Music Survey 2015, carried out on behalf of Heads of Instrumental Teaching Scotland (HITS). The survey provides up-to-date information on local authority-led instrumental music services across Scotland.
This report documents the results from the 2014 Instrumental Music Survey. This survey was
carried out on behalf of the Instrumental Music Implementation Group, which was set up by the
Scottish Government last year (September 2013) to oversee the progress of recommendations
reported by the Instrumental Music Group in June 2013. The purpose of this report is to provide
up-to-date information on the provision of instrumental music services across local authorities in Scotland.
Summary tables also available.
This is an ongoing study seeking to address patterns of inequalities across Scotland over the past ten years. The key results indicate that inequalities between neighbourhoods in Scotland are persistent over time, and reinforce the multiple nature of positive and negative life outcomes. This calls into question the success of previous policies which sought to reduce such inequality and the ability of public services to meet demands equally across society. The results also highlight the value of employment and income-generating programmes within Scotland’s most deprived areas.
This report from the Improvement Service and The Consultation Institute examines consultation policies and practices within Scottish local authorities and Community Planning Partnerships. It makes a number of observations about how consultation is currently undertaken and recommendations for how it can be further developed.
For older publications, please visit our full website.