School decisions to be taken at school level

DFM to preside over major devolution of responsibility.

Schools will be empowered to make more decisions about their pupils' learning, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said today.

In a statement to the Scottish Parliament Mr Swinney announced a major review into the way Scotland’s schools are run, which places at its heart the presumption that decisions will be devolved to school level.

Mr Swinney confirmed the Government will introduce new educational regions to support collaboration and the sharing of best practice, and ruled out a move to privately run academies, selection or Grammar Schools.

Mr Swinney said:

“Our guiding principle for the way our schools are run is simple. Decisions should be taken at school level. That will be our presumption and we will place it at the heart of this review.

“This is a vision of empowerment and devolution. We will empower our teachers and our early years workers to make the best decisions for our young people. We will place them at the heart of a system that makes decisions about children’s learning within the schools themselves, supported by parents and the local community.

“We will introduce new educational regions to share good practice, ensure best value, build capacity and deliver the best outcomes for children and young people. We will never go down the divisive academy model. And there will be no return to selection or Grammar schools.

“Our reform will be based on evidence of what works. The evidence shows that systematic collaborative engagement at every level of education is what builds capacity and delivers the best outcomes for children and young people.

“I plan to spend a significant amount of time over the next three months talking and listening to teachers, children and young people, practitioners and partners about how education in Scotland is run. I want to hear views from communities in every part of Scotland.

“Reviewing the way our schools are run is a crucial part of this government’s defining mission to deliver excellence and equity across Scotland’s education system.”

Notes to editors

The School Governance Review launches today and will run until 6 January 2017. The review is an opportunity for children and young people, parents, teachers, practitioners and the wider community to share their views on how schools in Scotland are run. People are encouraged to respond to the review in writing or attend one of several engagement events to be held across Scotland. For more information about planned events, or to find out how to submit your views, visit:

Mr Swinney’s full speech to the Scottish Parliament will be made available at:


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