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Giving more power to headteachers.
Consultation on a bill to introduce radical reforms to the education system has opened.
During the Programme for Government the First Minister made clear that the Education (Scotland) Bill 2018 will be the centrepiece of the legislative programme for the year ahead.
It will include a number of provisions to reform how schools are run and put schools in charge of key decisions about a child’s education, including:
• More freedom to make choices about curriculum, improvement, and funding at school level
• More freedom for headteachers to choose school staff and management structure
• New Regional Improvement Collaboratives to provide streamlined and strengthened support to teachers, drawing on experts from local authorities and Education Scotland
• Strengthened engagement with young people and parents in schools.
The new powers will be guaranteed in a statutory charter for headteachers, with provisions to ensure young people and parents also have a stronger voice in schools.
Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney, launched the consultation during a visit to the Royal High School in Edinburgh.
He said: “Improving education and closing the attainment gap is this government’s number one priority. Our focus is unwavering in ensuring every child, no matter their circumstances, has an equal chance to succeed.
“There is already much to be celebrated within our education system but radical reform is required to make the improvements we all want to see. The consultation on the Education (Scotland) Bill will ensure that everyone with an interest in how our young people learn and develop will have an opportunity to contribute to the future of education in Scotland.
“The reforms to be taken forward through the bill are all based on the presumption that decisions about children’s learning and school life should be taken at school level. This is built on strong international evidence that empowered schools and engaged parents lead to a better education. I look forward to a constructive, informed and, no doubt, impassioned discussion around these proposals in the weeks to come.”
The Regional Improvement Leads and the remit of the six Regional Improvement Collaboratives were recently announced.