2018 national improvement framework and improvement plan

The framework sets out activity the Scottish Government and partners will take to drive improvement for children and young people.

Introduction, vision and key priorities


The 2018 National Improvement Framework and Improvement Plan replaces last year's NIF and Improvement Plan. It brings together what we know about how the system is performing and sets out the improvement activity the Scottish Government and partners will be taking forward in the year ahead. This activity complements the ongoing delivery of Getting It Right For Every Child, Curriculum for Excellence and Developing the Young Workforce ( DYW) to help support the achievement of improved learner outcomes across Scottish education.

Scottish Ministers have a statutory duty to review the NIF each year and, in doing so, to consult local authorities, teachers, children, young people and parents. Our consultation in autumn 2017 revealed a consensus that the NIF vision, strategic priorities and drivers of improvement remain fit for purpose. There is a clear view that continuity of approach is needed at school level to support ongoing improvement planning and reporting, based on self-evaluation against the four NIF key improvement priorities and six drivers of improvement. This 2018 Improvement Plan also satisfies Ministers duty to publish an annual plan setting out the action they will take to close the poverty-related attainment gap.

The vision, priorities and drivers of improvement set out in this document will underpin our education reform and improvement agenda in the year ahead. 2018 is the Year of Young People. This presents an opportunity to focus minds and to celebrate the achievements and potential of all our young people.

Our vision for education in Scotland

  • Excellence through raising attainment: ensuring that every child achieves the highest standards in literacy and numeracy, set out within Curriculum for Excellence levels, and the right range of skills, qualifications and achievements to allow them to succeed; and
  • Achieving equity: ensuring every child has the same opportunity to succeed, with a particular focus on closing the poverty-related attainment gap.

We need Scottish education to deliver both excellence in terms of ensuring children and young people acquire a broad range of skills and capacities at the highest levels, whilst also delivering equity so that every child and young person should thrive and have the best opportunity to succeed regardless of their social circumstances or additional needs.

Key priorities of the National Improvement Framework

The National Improvement Framework and Improvement Plan is designed to help us deliver the twin aims of excellence and equity; galvanising efforts and aligning our collective improvement activities across all partners in the education system to address our key priorities. The priorities for 2018 will remain as:

  • Improvement in attainment, particularly in literacy and numeracy
  • Closing the attainment gap between the most and least disadvantaged children and young people
  • Improvement in children and young people's health and wellbeing
  • Improvement in employability skills and sustained, positive school-leaver destinations for all young people


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