A Guide to Education and Training in Scotland
ADVISORY AND CONSULTATIVE BODIES
The education system is supported by agencies linked, in most cases through their funding, to the Scottish Executive. The principal agencies are:
The Association of Scottish Colleges (ASC)
is the policy and representative voice for Scotland's further education colleges, the largest provider of lifelong learning opportunities in Scotland. http://www.ascol.org.uk
British Council Scotland
The British Council Scotland promotes educational, cultural and technical co-operation between Scotland and other countries. It works towards world-wide partnerships and international understanding. http://www.britishcouncil.org/scotland
Developing Effective International Education Practice,
DEIEP is a consortium of Scottish Local Authorities which aims to promote effective staff development through international links and exchanges, and to develop guidelines on good practice in this area. http://www.deiep-int-off.org.uk
The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS),
established in 1965 and statutorily responsible for maintaining a register of qualified teachers in Scotland and for the establishment and monitoring of professional teaching standards. It also has responsibility overseeing standards of entry to the profession, accrediting and reviewing courses of initial teacher education, exercising disciplinary powers in relation to registration, supporting probationer teacher and advising on the supply of teachers. http://www.gtcs.org.uk
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE)
Highlands and Islands Enterprise exists to encourage economic and social development, along with training and environmental renewal in an area covering half the landmass of Scotland. It is the strategic centre of a network of 10 Local Enterprise Companies (LECs) whose boards comprise leaders from the local community and business sectors. http://www.hie.co.uk
Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education (HMIE)
are an Executive Agency of the Scottish Executive Education Department. HMIE undertake independent and impartial inspections of pre-school education, primary and secondary schools and further education colleges. They also inspect the education functions of local authorities. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/hmie
League for the Exchange of Commonwealth Teachers (LECT)
The League offers educators a range of opportunities for international professional development within the 54 countries of the Commonwealth. These include one year and short term exchanges, study visits, job shadowing and custom-designed programmes. http://www.lect.org.uk
Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS)
is a national public body sponsored by the Scottish Executive Education Department. LTS provide advice, support, resources and staff development with a view to improving attainment and achievement and promoting lifelong learning. LTS' remit covers all matters relating to the curriculum in pre-school, primary and secondary education and provide guidance and support on the curriculum for schools, local education authorities and other interested parties. LTS also advises on the use of new technologies for more effective teaching and learning. http://www.ltscotland.com
The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA)
mission states that their aim is to promote public confidence that quality of provision and standards of awards in higher education are being safeguarded and enhanced. http://www.qaa.ac.uk
Scottish Enterprise Network (SEN)
The Scottish Enterprise Network is funded by the Scottish Executive and consists of the parent body with 12 Local Enterprise Companies. It exists to encourage economic development in all sectors and to promote Scotland as a world-class economy. http://www.scottish-enterprise.com
The Scottish Further Education Unit (SFEU),
this centre was established to support key developments and innovations in the further education sector in Scotland. The Unit supports teaching and learning, the application of information technology, and organisational, professional and managerial development. It also supports colleges in implementing key Government policy initiatives.
The Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC),
a statutory body established in 1993 to administer the funding of all Higher Education Institutions, including universities, and to oversee evaluative procedures for such institutions. The Scottish Further Education Funding Council was established on 1 July 1999 to fund Scotland's forty-three incorporated colleges. The Council works closely with SHEFC. The Scottish Funding Councils fund further and higher education institutions through money made available to them from the Scottish Parliament. http://www.sfc.ac.uk
The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)
is the national body in Scotland responsible for the development, accreditation, assessment, and certification of qualifications other than degrees. It also approves education and training establishments which offer courses leading to its qualifications. http://www.sqa.org.uk
Universities Scotland (US)
is funded by the 22 Scottish Universities and colleges of higher education in Scotland to support and promote their work and encourage people of all ages to take part in higher education. http://www.universities-scotland.ac.uk
is the national youth agency for Scotland. YouthLink promotes the well-being and development of young people in Scotland in a local, national, and global context. Their focus is on supporting youth work and youth service development. They work in partnership with national and local government, the voluntary sector, and the business community.
THE ASSOCIATION OF SCOTTISH COLLEGES (ASC)
The Association of Scottish Colleges is the policy and representative voice of Scotland's further education (FE) colleges.
Further Education in Scotland
FE colleges are the bedrock of Scotland's post-school education and training sector, with over 430,000 enrolments each year. Colleges offer a diverse range of courses in terms of subjects offered and level of qualification - everything from access and basic numeracy and literacy courses to Higher National qualifications and, in some cases, degree level qualifications. And the flexibility of provision which colleges provide - day release, evening classes, part-time courses - means that FE can deliver education and training to those groups often excluded from more traditional forms of provision.
The Association's Strategy is focused on 4 main areas of activity:
- Informing and advising central government, the Scottish Parliament and other key decision-makers about the work of colleges and issues affecting the sector
- influencing policy-makers to the benefit of colleges and their students
- Developing sector policy and strategy
- Providing information and advice to colleges on a range of issues
Based alongside the Scottish Further Education Unit (SFEU) at Argyll Court in Stirling, ASC is part of the centre of excellence for Scottish Further Education.
For further information contact:
The Association of Scottish Colleges
Castle Business Park
Tel: 01786 892100
Fax: 01786 892109
THE BRITISH COUNCIL SCOTLAND
The British Council creates opportunity for people worldwide. Our goal is to be recognised as the world's most effective international cultural relations organisation. In everything we do, we value individuals, promote internationalism and demonstrate integrity. In 2001 we worked in 229 towns and cities in 111 countries around the world.
In Scotland we work closely with Scottish partners to make international impact, showcasing Scotland's excellence in the arts, education, science and innovation, governance, law and human rights and taking a lead in developing and encouraging Scottish participation in these areas internationally. We create and link national and international networks of professionals, especially young professionals who are the leaders of the future, to promote greater understanding of Scotland and Scottish achievements.
British Council Scotland manages Scottish interests in the major European Union funding programmes such as SOCRATES and YOUTH and promotes multinational projects among young people.
Education UK Scotland
This is a joint initiative between British Council Scotland, the Scottish Executive Enterprise & Lifelong Learning Department, Scottish Development International and the education sector in Scotland. It seeks to raise
awareness of Scotland's educational expertise in overseas markets. The sector, covering schools to universities, has regular input through its steering committee and Education UK Scotland also works closely with key education and public agencies.
For further information contact:
The British Council Scotland
4 Jackson's Entry
Tel: +44 (0)131 524 5700
Fax: +44 (0)131 524 5701
DEVELOPING EFFECTIVE INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION PRACTICE
DEIEP is a partnership involving the Scottish Executive Education Department, the League for the Exchange of Commonwealth Teachers, British Council Scotland and 13 local authorities. The local authorities involved are Argyll & Bute, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow City, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Stirling, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire. The objectives of the partnership are to increase the awareness of international education as an integral part of the curriculum through International Continuous Professional Development opportunities for education personnel.
The current aims of the partnership are:
1. To promote effective and innovative staff development models between schools, staff and those in other countries.
2. To develop joint working practices that will ensure optimum use of resources and funding which reflect national priorities/objectives for education in Scotland.
3. To promote and market the work of the project making best use of information and communication technology wherever practicable.
4. To examine ways to ensure that the benefits gained from the project are maximised and disseminated to local authorities, schools, staff and the Scottish Executive Education Department.
5. To develop and operate guidelines for those involved in the project to ensure that expectations are met regarding individuals' involvement during the international exchange/visit and at the dissemination stage.
6. To establish effective ways of using incoming exchange teachers such as receiving feedback on their perception of the Scottish education system and their experience of the exchange/visit process.
7. To establish effective ways of using returning Scottish teachers to ensure that the benefits they gained on their exchange/visit are maximised for local authorities, schools, staff and the Scottish Executive Education Department.
8. To make recommendations to the Scottish Executive Education Department on how approaches to staff development opportunities overseas might be made more effective in helping raise standards of learning and teaching.
The development of a web site has been crucial to the sharing of 'best practice' and information regarding the project. The web site can be viewed at: www.deiep-int-off.org.uk
The website has the following sections:
- Project Aims
- International Study Visit - DEIEP Application Form and Information
- Commonwealth Institute
- Information Update
- Bulletin Board
- Helpful Hints and Checklists
- Glasgow City Council - Education Services - International Office
For further information contact:
Dowanhill Primary School
30 Havelock Street
Phone/Fax +44 (0)141 337 3214
FUTURE SKILLS SCOTLAND
Future Skills Scotland has been established as part of the Scottish Executive's strategy to improve its understanding of the Scottish labour market and facilitate the better matching of people to jobs. The Unit has a Scotland-wide remit and is managed by the Enterprise Networks.
Future Skills Scotland will develop new approaches to understanding the Scottish labour market, identify skills shortages and help ensure a better matching of skills supply to employer demand. The Unit will ensure ready access to information and intelligence on current and emerging skills issues by policy makers, education and training providers and other users. It will collate and analyse labour market information and intelligence from a diverse range of bodies, such as Local Enterprise Companies, Careers Scotland, the Employment Service, local authorities and the new, employer-led Sector Skills Councils as they begin to emerge. This information and intelligence will be used by Future Skills Scotland to provide business and other stakeholders with the information and intelligence they need on current and future skills issues at a Scottish level.
Vocational Qualifications in Scotland
There are two main types of vocational qualifications in Scotland: work-based Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs); and work-related Higher National Certificates/
Diplomas (HNC/Ds). SVQs are competence-based qualifications particularly suitable for work-based delivery but they can be taken in further education colleges and other centres where work-place conditions can be simulated. SVQs are comparable to NVQs (in England) and are developed from the same National Occupational Standards. HNC/HND qualifications are modular, advanced-level vocational qualifications, which are available in further education colleges and higher education establishments.
A further qualification available in Scotland is the Scottish Group Award (SGA). SGAs are built up unit by unit and allow the opportunity for credit transfer from other qualifications (such as SVQs) providing a further option for learners.
The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is the statutory awarding body for qualifications in the national education and training system in Scotland. It is both the main awarding body for qualifications for work including SVQs and is also their accrediting body. The SQA is by statute required clearly to separate its awarding and accrediting functions.
Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF)
The SCQF is being developed to make the Scottish qualifications system easier to understand for individuals, employers, and education and training providers. It shows the relationships between qualifications and it will be a useful aid to learners for planning progression towards their learning and career goals.
The Framework comprises 12 levels currently covering all mainstream Scottish qualifications from Access level (in the National Qualifications system) to postgraduate qualifications. Work-based Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) are also included. The process involves allocation of credits and levels to individual qualifications according to their "size" in terms of notional learning hours (1 credit point for each 10 hours of learner effort, assuming a 1,200 hour learning year). Learners will be able to transfer credits from one qualification towards another (in relevant subjects). The SCQF is still under development as is planned to include further pieces of learning including; professional qualifications; community learning; employer assessed training and modular units of learning.
The SCQF is at the forefront of European and world-wide developments, achieving as it does the inclusion of qualifications across academic and vocational sectors into a single credit-based framework.
learndirect scotland (lds) was launched by the Scottish Executive in October 2000, to help champion lifelong learning throughout Scotland. It promotes the demand for lifelong learning by businesses and individuals, brokering the provision of learning opportunities to meet skill needs. In doing so, it works with partners throughout the learning and business communities including the Enterprise Networks, Further and Higher Education Funding Councils, Careers Scotland, and the Scottish Qualifications Authority.
The principle objectives of lds are:
- Simplify access to learning through a comprehensive national learning opportunities database, helpline and website - over 280,000 serviced helpline enquiries and over 5.6 million website hits to date.
- Develop a national network of customer focused learning centres, in the community and in the workplace, offering a range of quality learning opportunities and learner support - currently 325 branded learning centres, including 158 in socially excluded areas.
- Identify gaps in learning materials approaches and commission new material, both on and off line.
- Improve guidance on learning choices.
- Work with businesses to help them identify and address their training and development needs - learndirect scotland for business is a range of services to encourage and assist in-company training and workforce development.
THE GENERAL TEACHING COUNCIL FOR SCOTLAND (GTC SCOTLAND)
The General Teaching Council for Scotland is a statutory body, which was established in 1965 to maintain and enhance the quality of professional standards of teaching in Scotland. It was the first organisation of its kind and has served as a model for many other similar organisations around the world.
The Council's principal aims are to contribute to improving the quality of teaching and learning, to maintain and improve teachers' standards of professional competence and to be recognised as a voice of, and advocate for, the teaching profession.
The Council is funded by the teaching profession: every teacher registered to teach in Scotland pays an annual registration fee. It is, however, a teaching and not a teachers' council. Membership, therefore, is designed to represent the Scottish education community as widely as possible. Of the 50 members of Council, the majority are serving teachers, but the Council also includes representatives of universities and other higher education institutions, and central and local government. The interests of the wider community are also represented through members from the churches, the business community and parents.
GTC Scotland activities:
- maintaining a register of teachers qualified to teach in Scotland
- keeping under review standards for entry to the teaching profession
- managing a coherent national system of teacher induction
- scrutinising and evaluating the qualifications of teachers trained outwith Scotland
- accrediting and reviewing courses of initial teacher education
- encouraging the dissemination of good practice in teaching
- making recommendations on the career development of teachers
- carrying out its disciplinary functions which include consideration of cases where a teacher has been convicted of a criminal offence or an allegation of professional misconduct has been made against a teacher.
For further information contact:
General Teaching Council for Scotland
96 Clermiston Road
Tel: +44 (0)131 314 6000
Fax: +44 (0)131 314 6001
HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS ENTERPRISE (HIE)
For further information contact:
Highlands and Islands Enterprise
20 Bridge Street
Tel: +44 (01) 1463 234171
Fax: +44 (01) 1463 244469
Highlands and Islands Enterprise exists to encourage economic and social development, training and environmental renewal in an area which covers half the land mass of Scotland. A population of 370,000 is scattered across the Highlands and Islands which has around 90 inhabited islands.
Established in 1991, Highlands and Islands Enterprise is the strategic centre of a wider network of 10 Local Enterprise Companies (LECs). Together their aim is to create economic growth and social prosperity by investing in developing the resources of people and communities across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
HIE Network's strategy has three objectives:
- Strengthening communities
- Developing skills
- Growing businesses
Priorities of the HIE Network for developing skills
To promote learning and opportunity for everyone by:
- providing quality learning and skills opportunities to those entering the job market;
- removing barriers to training and employment;
- helping the long term unemployed back to work; and
- supporting those who face problems of access to learning and training opportunities.
Improve how the labour market works by:
- ensuring the needs of the labour market are met through Future Skills Scotland;
- offering an 'all age'careers guidance service tuned to local needs; and
- offering a one door approach to learning opportunities through learndirect scotland.
Develop a training and learning infrastructure by:
- offering choice and flexibility of training and working closely with training providers;
- maximising the use of information technology to overcome problems of distance;
- promoting a culture of e-learning;
- working as a key partner in the ongoing development of the University of the Highlands and Islands Millennium Institute.
Encourage more employers to invest in high quality training by:
- encouraging uptake of Individual Learning Accounts and Investors in People initiatives and working closely with National Training Organisations to improve long-term employability of workers and enhance management and leadership capabilities within business.
HER MAJESTY'S INSPECTORATE OF EDUCATION (HMIE)
HM Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) promotes improvements in standards, quality and attainment in Scottish education through first-hand, independent evaluation. HMIE operates independently and impartially, whilst remaining directly accountable to the Scottish Ministers for the standards of its work. The Senior Chief Inspector leads HMIE and gives professional advice to appropriate Scottish Ministers.
HMIE's key functions include:
- inspecting, reviewing and reporting across Scottish education;
- evaluating whole sectors and aspects of education;
- carrying out commissions from the Scottish Ministers, the Scottish Executive and other bodies; and
- giving professional advice to the Scottish Ministers and others.
HM Inspectors (HMI) inspect or review and report on education in pre-school centres, primary and secondary schools, special schools, further education colleges, community learning, and initial teacher education; care and welfare of pupils, including that of residential pupils; the education functions of local authorities; and in other contexts as necessary. We promote public accountability by publishing our evaluations in clear and concise reports.
HMI recognise the value of sharing expertise with others in the UK and beyond. We work collaboratively with other Inspectorates and agencies where this will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our activities. We also undertake commissions and consultancy work that requires the specific skills of HMI.
For further information contact:
HM Inspectorate of Education
Tel: +44 (0)131 244 0650
Fax: +44 (0)131 244 7124
THE LEAGUE FOR THE EXCHANGE OF COMMONWEALTH TEACHERS (LECT)
LECT's mission is to promote excellence in education throughout the Commonwealth by developing, promoting and supporting:
- international educator exchanges and study visits
- international collaboration and linking
- information sharing and support
- shared experience and good practice
- enhancement of the professional status of teachers
LECT offers educators a range of opportunities for international professional development within the 54 countries of the Commonwealth. These include one year and short term exchanges, study visits, job shadowing and custom designed programmes.
LECT's programme priorities focus on:
- involvement of resource poor countries of the Commonwealth
- innovative educational research proposals
- involvement of schools and LEAs previously under represented in international professional development programmes
Further information is available from the Head of Programmes: Scotland at the above office or from the London office at:
7 Lion Yard
Tel: 020 7498 1101
Fax: 020 7720 5403
LEARNING AND TEACHING SCOTLAND is a national, public body sponsored by the Scottish Executive Education Department.
Learning and Teaching Scotland aims to:
- develop and provide high quality advice to Scottish ministers and, where appropriate, to others on the pre-school and school curriculum and on the use of ICT in learning throughout life
- develop and provide a range of effective and innovative products and services that are supportive of learning and teaching at all stages.
Curriculum review and development - Keeping the Scottish curriculum under review and assessing those aspects which might require attention is central to the work of Learning and Teaching Scotland. A great deal of emphasis is placed on consultation in our review work.
Support and guidance - Publications form an important part of our work as a direct means of providing guidance and support on the curriculum. Support materials and resources for schools are published which relate to Government education development programmes, as well as discussion and consultation documents of various kinds.
ICT in learning and teaching - Learning and Teaching Scotland provides advice, guidance, products and services relating to the use of ICT in any area of education and lifelong learning. In all areas of its work Learning and Teaching Scotland exploits the opportunities offered by ICT for enabling and enhancing learning. This is reflected in the content and nature of curriculum support materials as well as in the staff development and training offered for using ICT. Learning and Teaching Scotland is in a strong position to assist learners and teachers to take advantage of the benefits of technology. We work with business partners in the ICT industry to source the best software resources and licensing arrangements for schools and colleges in Scotland. As well as providing the best range of educational software from third party suppliers, we develop and produce our own brand of software and multimedia products.
The organisation's website provides fuller information on the scope of our activities.
Learning and Teaching Scotland has two offices, one in Dundee and one in Glasgow. The Chief Executive may be contacted at either office.
For further information contact:
Learning and Teaching Scotland
Tel: 01382 443600
Fax: 01382 443645/46
Learning and Teaching Scotland
74 Victoria Crescent Road
Tel: 0141 337 5000
Fax: 0141 337 5050
Scottish Enterprise is Scotland's main economic development agency.
Its mission is to help the people and businesses of Scotland succeed and in turn create a world-class economy.
The Scottish Enterprise Network is funded by the Scottish Executive and consists of Scottish Enterprise and 12 Local Enterprise Companies. It covers 93 per cent of the Scottish population from Grampian to the Borders, and works closely with a range of partner organisations in the public, private and third sectors.
The Network has three key priorities which complement the Scottish Executive's Smart Successful Scotland document:
- To help new businesses to start up and exisiting businesses to succeed and grow
- To help businesses develop a strong presence on the world stage
- To help people gain the knowledge and skills they need to win tomorrow's jobs and throughout their lives.
The Network firmly believes that Scotland's future success depends on the skills of its people and is committed to investing in creating a world class skills base in Scotland. The organisation invests significant resources in supporting:
- Workforce training
- E-learning initiatives
- Vocational training for young people
A key area will be the development of Careers Scotland a new careers advice service for people of all ages.
For further information contact:
Tel: 0141 248 2700
Fax: 0141 221 3217
SCOTTISH QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY
SQA is the national body in Scotland responsible for the development, accreditation, assessment, and certification of qualifications other than degrees.
SQA's functions are to:
- devise, develop and validate qualifications, and keep them under review
- accredit qualifications
- approve education and training establishments as being suitable for entering people for these qualifications
- arrange for, assist in, and carry out, the assessment of people taking SQA qualifications
- quality assure education and training establishments which offer SQA qualifications
- issue certificates to candidates.
- National Qualifications (including Standard Grade and National Units and Courses at Access, Intermediate, Higher and Advanced Higher levels)
- Higher National Certificates and Diplomas (HNC/HND)
- Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs)
- Customised Awards and Professional Development Awards.
SQA is also responsible for developing and distributing 5-14 National Tests to schools as part of the Government's 5-14 Programme, and undertakes consultancies and training in Scotland and abroad.
Scotland has 20 indigenous higher education institutions. The Open University, a UK institution, also operates in Scotland.
The higher education institutions are autonomous bodies, responsible for their own management and organisation.
The 20 indigenous institutions are:
- 13 universities
- 1 university college
- 4 specialist colleges (art, art and design and architecture; music and drama; agriculture and horticulture)
- 2 general colleges.
The institutions can be accessed for further information via their national body, Universities Scotland, at: www.universities-scotland.ac.uk
Scottish Higher Education Funding Council
The higher education institutions receive substantial Government funding via an "arm's length" body, the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC) ( www.sfc.ac.uk ), except for the Scottish Agricultural College, which is funded by the Scottish Executive. All institutions also derive income from other sources (in some cases, around half), such as research bodies, and from their own commercial activities. SHEFC also funds the Open University for its activities in Scotland.
- Funding allocated to SHEFC by the Scottish Executive for 2002-03 (April-March) is 712.5 million, to fund 132,950 full time equivalent places.
- Total funding distributed by SHEFC to HEIs for 2002-03 academic year (August-July) is 724 million:
- 528 million for teaching
- 180 million for research
- 16 million to support computer networks and other strategic developments.
Scottish International Foundation Programme
The Scottish International Foundation Programme (SIFP) operates on behalf of Scottish Universities to provide access to the full range of their degree courses. It is widely recognised as an established route for international students to gain the necessary university entry requirements by way of the Higher Grade examination of the Scottish Qualifications Authority and SIFP's own diet of examinations.
SIFP provides courses of 3 months to 2 years duration to meet the requirements of overseas students aiming for entry to UK universities.
For further information please contact:
77 Southpark Avenue
University of Glasgow
Tel: +44 (0) 141 330 5955
Fax: +44 (0) 141 330 5558
YouthLink Scotland is the national youth agency for Scotland. A national voluntary organisation serving the needs of young people and those who work with them, YouthLink Scotland promotes the well-being and development of young people in a local, national and global context. It works through 32 Scottish local authorities and more than 50 national voluntary youth organisations. The focus is on supporting youth work and youth service development. Young people's lives cannot be viewed only in a local or national context, as all local communities have global links. YouthLink Scotland is committed to promoting and encouraging an international dimension towards work with young people. Through Eurodesk and the European Resource Centre the organisation is also actively involved in promoting and delivering an information service for young people on European opportunities.
Eurodesk is the Europe-wide network which provides young people and those who work with them with information on European opportunities and funding, to encourage young people to be mobile and to take advantage of the European programmes available to help them to do so. Eurodesk also delivers training for youth workers, and produces publications, publicity materials, and web based information with a view to promoting the availability of work, study and volunteering abroad opportunities.
The European Resource Centre in Scotland is a valuable source of European information and teaching materials for Scotland's teachers, students, schools and colleges. The services of the centre meet the needs of young people and teachers looking for factual information on the European Union, the work it does and their representatives in Europe. A wide variety of publications are available free of charge in multiple copies for educational purposes, and even more available for consultation.