Scottish Education Council

New body to take forward reform.

The first ever Scottish Education Council has been established to oversee work to improve education.

The council will be chaired by Deputy First Minister John Swinney and bring together young people, education leaders and representatives from local authorities and the teaching profession.

The council will be a forum for frank and open discussion about what is working in education and where improvement is required. It will provide advice and guidance and oversee progress implementing improvement priorities.

Mr Swinney said:

“Strong leadership and collaboration are vital to driving improvement and ensuring that all children and young people are able to reach their potential. As we work towards an education system that is led by teachers and schools, ensuring we have the right national oversight and support will be crucial.

“The council will work closely with local government and key stakeholders, including the new Regional Improvement Collaboratives, reflecting the significant role local partners will play in the delivery of system-wide improvement.

“I am confident that these new arrangements will ensure shared responsibility and improve transparency of decision-making while driving our relentless focus on improvement. Rather than just talking about raising standards in education, the new council will deliver improvements.”

Mr Swinney will chair the council which will meet every two months. Its members, roles and remit will be ratified at its first meeting, which will take place later in November.

Membership of the new Scottish Education Council:

  • Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills (Chair)
  • Stephen McCabe, COSLA Children and Young People spokesperson
  • Two young people representatives – names tbc
  • Janet Brown, Scottish Qualifications Authority Chief Executive
  • Larry Flanagan, General Secretary, The Educational Institute of Scotland
  • Graeme Logan, interim HM Chief Inspector of Education and Chief Education Adviser 
  • Ken Muir, Chief Executive, General Teaching Council for Scotland
  • Joanna Murphy, Chair, National Parent Forum of Scotland                                                  
  • Morag Redford, Chair of the Scottish Council of Deans of Education
  • Fiona Robertson, Scottish Government, Director for Learning
  • Maureen McKenna, President of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES)
  • Jim Thewliss, General Secretary, School Leaders Scotland
  • Bernadette Malone, Chief Executive, Perth and Kinross Council
  • Sheena Devlin, Regional Improvement Collaborative Lead, Tayside Collaborative
  • Gayle Gorman, Regional Improvement Collaborative Lead, The Northern Alliance
  • Douglas Hutchison, Regional Improvement Collaborative Lead, South West Collaborative
  • Carrie Lindsay, Regional Improvement Collaborative Lead, South East Alliance
  • Robert Naylor, Regional Improvement Collaborative Lead, Forth Valley and West Lothian Collaborative
  • Mhairi Shaw, Regional Improvement Collaborative Lead, The West Partnership


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