The National Improvement Framework provides the breadth and depth of data that allows us to gain a deeper understanding of our educational strengths and weaknesses, but it is what we do with it – at all levels of the system – that will help us drive improvement for children and young people across Scotland.
The key to improvement is what happens locally, in our nurseries, schools and colleges. That is why the 2020 National Improvement Framework and Improvement Plan draws closely on the knowledge and experience of those working at local level, and the evidence they have provided via the school, local authority, and regional improvement plans. Those plans, combined with other evidence, including school inspection data, local authority self-evaluation, and the interim evaluation of the Scottish Attainment Challenge, have shown us where we need to focus our efforts in order to support our children and young people to develop fully in school, to achieve positive destinations, and to be provided with the full range of skills, attributes and capacities to be resilient within a rapidly changing world.
That is why it is crucial that we do not focus solely on data on achievement, although that is important, but also on data that informs all aspects of Curriculum for Excellence, including data on health and wellbeing, attendance, exclusion, employability, and parental engagement. The intelligent use of data as part of everyday teaching, learning and assessment, will help teachers to identify gaps, and the appropriate interventions, for children and young people in the classroom. Both Insight and the BGE benchmarking tool provide comprehensive data which schools and local authorities are using to help identify areas of concern and strategies for improvement.
There is a collective responsibility on all of us to ensure continual improvement in the health, wellbeing and achievement of every child in Scotland. We will continue to create a culture of empowerment and collaboration to enable the teaching profession to work together and to use their skills, judgement and creativity in the way they think best to develop the high quality teaching practice, and effective pedagogy, that are crucial to securing better outcomes for children and young people. This is supported by the specific measures outlined below across all of the drivers to deliver improvements in Scottish education.