Education reform

Reform of Scotland’s education system is underway. It includes: 

  • a national discussion on education 

  • an independent review of qualifications and assessments 

  • reforming education bodies the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and Education Scotland: merging the curriculum and assessment function and removing inspection from Education Scotland 

  • post-school education and training 

National discussion on education 

Let's talk Scottish education - take part in the national discussion.

A national debate on the future of education 20 years ago led to the creation of the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE). CfE is recognised – both here and around the world – as the right foundation for Scottish education. It is here to stay. 

But a lot has changed in the last 20 years and the COVID-19 pandemic shone a spotlight on many of the strengths and weaknesses in the education system. 

Professor Ken Muir’s review: ‘Putting learners at the centre: towards a future vision for Scottish education’ recommended holding a national discussion to establish a compelling and consensual vision for the future of Scottish education.  

The national discussion is open to everyone and will help shape the future of Scottish education. 

We need to find out what works well, what we have learned about our systems and to consider what comes next to help all our children and young people thrive. The outcome will impact generations to come across all sectors including early years, primary, secondary and beyond. 

You can contact the team leading the work at nationaldiscussiononeducation@gov.scot  

Qualifications and assessment  

A review of qualifications and assessment is being carried out by Professor Emeritus Louise Hayward. The aim is to ensure all senior phase learners have an enhanced and equal opportunity to demonstrate the breadth, depth and relevance of their learning.  

Find out more: Independent Review of Qualifications and Assessment 

Education bodies 

Professor Ken Muir’s review: ‘Putting learners at the centre: towards a future vision for Scottish education’ recommended the creation of three new national education bodies.  

These include a qualifications body, a national agency for Scottish education, and an independent inspectorate body. These will replace the SQA and Education Scotland.  

These bodies will reflect the culture and values that we want to be embedded throughout our education and skills system. This will be a multi-phase programme of reform with the bodies going live from 2024. 

Throughout the reform process, both the SQA and Education Scotland will continue to deliver crucial work supporting learners, teachers and professionals. 

We want to bring the widest possible range of voices and views into the conversation around their design and will be proactive in engaging with a diverse range of people who have a stake in their success. 

Find out more: education reform programme.

Post-school education and training 

A post-school education, research and skills ecosystem that delivers for all people is critical to the future success of Scotland.  

This is vital to ensure that everyone has the right skills, knowledge, values and attitudes to achieve their potential and support the economy. 

Learners, employers and staff from the colleges, universities, third sector and other institutions are all vital to help develop the purpose and principles for post-school education, research and skills.  

This work will fulfil our commitment to publish a statement of strategic intent for the system following the Scottish Funding Council’s (SFC) recommendations in its review ‘Coherence and Sustainability: A Review of Tertiary Education and Research’. 

You can contact the team leading on the development of the Purpose and Principles at Purposeandprinciples@gov.scot  

Next steps  

By carrying out these extensive reforms we will ensure that every person in Scotland is equipped with the education they need to reach their full potential. We will listen carefully to learners, teachers, parents, carers and practitioners and will work closely with our partners across Scotland to achieve this. 

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