More powers for schools

Partnership approach making progress.

More decision-making powers than ever before are now in the hands of schools due to a landmark agreement reached with councils last year.

Changes to create an education system which puts teachers, parents and communities in the driving seat have been implemented without the need for an 18 month delay while legislation is passed.

These changes include:

  • the publication of a Headteachers’ Charter to ensure schools have decision-making powers over learning and teaching, the curriculum and staffing and budgets
  • new Devolved School Management Guidelines for local authorities to enhance and improve the management of resources
  • additional Scottish Government funding of £5 million and focused support from Education Scotland to further develop the role Regional Improvement Collaboratives play in delivering region-wide approaches to improving outcomes for children and young people
  • the creation of a comprehensive plan to increase engagement with parents and carers in their children’s education

Other work on reform has also been undertaken throughout the year including establishing new career pathways for teachers and the provision of enhanced professional learning for headteachers. At the same time, we are taking steps to identify the support required for a wider range of education practitioners such as school librarians and college lecturers. 

Deputy First Minister John Swinney has updated Parliament on the significant progress made throughout the last year and confirmed the Scottish Government will not introduce an Education Bill as a result.

He said:

“Fast-tracking our education reforms was intended to give schools and teachers more control, quicker than could be achieved through legislation and it is clear to me we have achieved this.

“Already we are empowering schools through the Scottish Attainment Challenge and headteachers are seeing real results in closing the poverty related gap in attainment or wellbeing.

“We want to continue to build on this progress and ensure headteachers and schools have the autonomy and flexibility to make decisions that affect their learners wherever possible. 

“Our work throughout the year, in partnership with local government, teacher representatives and the wider education sector, has already made significant progress and I can confirm as a result of our successful collaborative approach I will not introduce an Education Bill.”


Ministerial statement: An update on Scotland’s Education Reforms.

A document providing an update on the progress of the Scottish Government’s programme of education reform has been published.


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