Information

Education - Achieving Excellence and Equity: national improvement framework and improvement plan 2022

Sets out the vision and priorities for Scottish education that have been agreed across the system, and the national improvement activity that needs to be undertaken to help deliver those key priorities.


Annex A - Ongoing/completed activity from the 2021 National Improvement Plan

School Leadership

Action - SL79

Support for Into Headship will form part of our ongoing commitment to fund professional learning for teachers, including at school leadership level.

Current Position

Ongoing

Funding for the Into Headship programme is now in its seventh year, with Cohort 7 recently starting the 21/22 session. It continues to be developed through a partnership approach between Education Scotland, seven universities and local authorities and was recently positively evaluated and reaccredited by GTC Scotland. Into Headship awards the GTCS Standard for Headship, which became a mandatory requirement for new substantive head teachers on 1st August 2020. Funding has been confirmed for 21/22, intake is high and grants to universities will issue shortly.

Action - SL80

We will continue to encourage more people into early learning and childcare (ELC), particularly those groups under-represented in the profession (men and minority ethnic communities) as well as in particular geographical areas.

Current Position

Complete – business as usual

We wish to develop an early learning and childcare workforce that better represents Scottish society, so we are working to encourage anyone with protected characteristics to pursue a career in ELC, as part of our ongoing priority of growing the workforce. That includes, males, those from our ethnic minority communities, those with language skills and those with disabilities. We continue to consider ways in which we can develop the ELC workforce such that it better represents wider Scottish society. ELC interests are now reflected in each of the work streams across the Race Equality and Anti-Racism in Education Programme. We will work with partners to assess the effectiveness of our actions to date in encouraging those with protected characteristics to join the ELC workforce. As well as scoping further commitments, this work will be part of our forthcoming Workforce Strategy for the ELC sector.

Action - SL81

In 2020 we will work with the Council for Ethnic Minority Voluntary Organisations (CEMVO) to engage those from ethnic minority communities into ELC and support the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) challenge fund to recruit and retain males into ELC.

Current Position

Complete

To promote careers in ELC to those from diverse ethnic communities, we have funded CEMVO, an umbrella body representing Ethnic Minority communities across Scotland, to engage with these communities and raise awareness of career opportunities in the ELC sector. CEMVO has held awareness-raising across Scotland since launching their programme in December 2018, and assisted many individuals on a 1-2-1 basis with applications for courses and jobs as well as providing guidance on interview techniques. To increase gender diversity in the sector, in 2018-19, we set up a £50K challenge fund, administered via the Scottish Funding Council, to investigate innovative ways of recruiting and retaining males on ELC training courses. West Lothian College and Inverness College UHI received funding to trial different approaches to meeting this challenge. To ensure learning from this work was disseminated widely, the Men In To Early Years conference was held in Stirling on 26 September 2019. Our training programmes are showing positive signs that this work is bearing fruit. For example, around 7% of trainees on ELC Modern Apprenticeships are male. This compares with 4% of males currently working across Day Care of Children services. A figure which has previously remained steady for many years.

Action - SL82

In 2020 Education Scotland will extend engagement in approaches to systems leadership via the expansion of the Evolving Systems Thinking Programme, and the Leading System Change Programme, and will contribute to whole system developments through collaboration and networking with other areas such as public health.

Current Position

Complete – business as usual

The Evolving Systems Thinking (EST) programme delivery, as was, has been paused due to participant commitments through the move to remote learning and the partial return to school. However, the programme has been developed to be available online and there is continued planning and development of a bespoke version of Evolving Systems Thinking for one local authority requested by the Senior Regional Advisor for Northern Alliance to support systems leadership work in the local authority. This work has led to the programme now being available to other local authorities across the country again.

The Leading System Change programme, as was, has been postponed in agreement with ADES. A review of this work will take place in 2020/21 academic year with the aim of broadening out the programme and engage more with the Collective Leadership offer which also involves colleagues in Public Health Scotland.

Action - SL83

During 2020 the Headteachers’ Charter and new national guidance on an empowered system will be finalised to support local areas in ensuring that decisions are made as close to the child or young person as possible.

Current Position

Paused

All sections of the guidance were published as agreed drafts by October 2019. Feedback was invited from this date with a focused period of engagement in place from January to March 2020. There had been limited response to the engagement prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 which resulted in a pause to this work. The School Empowerment Steering Group will continue to liaise with stakeholders to finalise and implement the guidance as appropriate. As per SL84, a new agenda on school reform likely to have some impact. School empowerment remains important to the Scottish Government and next steps will be discussed by the School Empowerment Steering Group.

Action - SL84

During 2020 we will continue to work with partners to raise awareness of the guidance, helping embed it in daily school/LA practices, and continuing to measure impact/progress so we can work together to address challenges where they arise.

Current Position

Paused

As above, the Guidance is not yet finalised as a result of COVID-19. The ongoing work on school reform is likely to have some impact on this work. As above, it will be discussed again at the School Empowerment Steering Group.

Action - SL85

In 2020 we will continue to work with the short-term working group on Diversity in the Teaching Profession that has been established by the Strategic Board for Teacher Education, which will look at increasing the number of teachers from under-represented groups at all levels in Scottish schools.

Current Position

Complete

The Diversity in the Teaching Profession Working Group concluded in March 2021 with the publication of Professor Arshad's report. It contains a number of areas for further development which are now being taken forward by one of the workstreams in the Race Equality and Anti-Racism in Education Programme. That workstream remains underpinned by the PfG commitment published in September 2020 which pledges to "ensure that the diversity of our society is recognised and represented in the education workforce at all levels in line with the ambitions of the Race Equality Framework. As part of this work we will address the under representation of Minority Ethnic teachers in Scotland by exploring alternative pathways into teaching for Minority Ethnic and other underrepresented groups."

Action - SL86

We are in the process of establishing a Gender Equality Task Force in Education and Learning as recommended by the First Minister’s National Advisory Committee for Women & Girls. Throughout 2020, the Task Force, chaired by the Deputy First Minister, will consider where gaps exist in the provision of a gender neutral experience of education and learning in Scotland, and publish a set of recommendations which will address those gaps.

Current Position

Ongoing

The Gender Equality Taskforce, originally chaired by the Deputy First Minister and now by the Cabinet Secretary for Education & Skills, met for the first time in February 2020. Progress slowed during 2020 as a result of COVID-19, however, the Taskforce reconvened in December that year. After two unsuccessful attempts to appoint an external contractor to develop a Theory of Change model, the aim of which is to set the way forward for achieving the Taskforce's ambitions, the Taskforce's Research Advisory Group worked with policy and analytical colleagues to develop an alternative approach to developing the model. As a result, the functions have now been split and separate tenders have been awarded to (1) The Collective and (2) the Children's Parliament (working with the Scottish Youth Parliament) who are carrying out the following functions: (1) engagement with the Taskforce itself and (2) engagement with girls and young women. The 2 organisations are working collaboratively to produce the ToC model via a series of workshops carried out in November and December 2021. The theory of change model will be produced in early 2022 and will be used by the Taskforce to decide their direction of travel and what their outputs will be.

Action - SL87

Education Scotland to monitor and evaluate the participation in and the impact on school leaders from the Education Scotland professional learning and leadership online offers including: Headspace, Headteacher Blethers, International Blether series, Excellence in Headship (EiH) Learn and Stretch sessions.

Current Position

Complete – business as usual

Since January 2021, 180 new headteachers have joined the Excellence in Headship programme and have shared the impact on them during a difficult year as a school leader. We have delivered 48 sessions over the course of 2021 to directly support experienced headteachers, including a 'Learn' session on 'Leading digital culture and curriculum' which was delivered on 29th September with 10 participants joining this small and intense professional learning session.

In May 2021, 137 aspiring school leaders completed Into Headship and were awarded the Standard for Headship by the GTCS. The latest cohort has 280 new participants, a record for the programme, and their first national conference took place in September. Feedback included, “I feel more confident about positioning myself as a prospective head teacher and I am starting to develop confidence that I can continue to develop the knowledge and skills the role requires.”

In May 2021, 25 new headteachers completed the In Headship programme and in September, the programme welcomed 30 newly appointed headteachers from across Scotland, supporting their transition into their new strategic role.

The Towards Headship programme, is supporting 20 experienced teachers who hold the Standard for Headship as they continue to aspire to a headteacher post.

The online offer for school and system leaders continued to grow in 2021. Our Evolving Systems Programme has been adapted to deliver as a bespoke local authority programme to meet the needs of specific context, with 57 participants engaged. We delivered 10 international blethers with 517 participants engaged. Participants indicated that:

“The development of the International aspect of CLPL has been a very welcome outcome from COVID, a game and pace changer. It has brought professional reading to life by making leaders and researchers accessible. It has started natural, thought-provoking and informed conversations around topics, a shared understanding of which would have taken a long time to embed pre-COVID”.

“The Education Scotland International series has been invaluable given the current circumstances. It has supported all levels of practitioners within the system and provided a broad range of topics. The opportunity to collaborate, share lessons learned and the responses and building back from the pandemic with international colleagues has supported at school level, local authority and for Regional Improvement Collaboratives.

Looking forward to this being an ongoing opportunity, to bring the education world closer together for the benefit of all our children and young people.”

The partnership working with our International colleagues including Prof Carol Campbell, Prof Mark Priestley, Dr Paul Bloomberg, Dr Simon Breakspear, Dr Jenni Donohoo and Prof. Pasi Sahlberg built on our initial international Blether series in 2020/21 and provided engaging opportunities for participants to connect with other educators globally. They have resulted in ongoing partnership working. One example is the uptake of Teaching Sprints for over 300 educators in one local authority area with Dr Simon Breakspear and also 53 participants of school leaders and leadership teams as a pilot cohort on the programme Agile School Leadership Teams.

Action - SL89

Teaching in a Diverse Scotland identified that more needed to be done to encourage and support leadership opportunities for Black and Minority Ethnic educators and to provide current and future school leaders with professional learning focused on anti-racist practice. As a result, Education Scotland will:

a) Include case studies on BME teachers who have participated in the professional learning and leadership programmes, in evaluation activity and promotional materials.

b) Revise online modules for Into Headship: Education Law and Employment Law.

c) Deliver EiH Learn sessions for headteachers focused on diversity in the teaching profession and the role of headteacher offered across the country.

d) Work with partners to offer a range of opportunities to explore anti-racist practice and education across a range of programmes.

e) Maintain an ongoing revision of programme materials (PPTS, handouts) to ensure that visuals/ examples are more representative of the teaching profession.

f) Engage with BME educator networks to share messages about recruitment to programmes and the wider professional learning offer.

Current Position

Complete in parts – others ongoing

a) Two case studies have now been developed. One will be submitted to feature in the NIF publication based on the driver Teacher Professionalism. This has been produced by a teacher of colour on the Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE) Leadership programme funded as part of the CERG workforce support package. This case study outlines the support received by the programme but also highlights challenges in the system preventing Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) educators from progressing into leadership positions. The case study has been shared anonymously. The other case study is written by a participant of the PLL programme Middle Leaders Leading Change and the impact this has had on her practice and leadership. It will be featured on the PLL blog at the end of 2021 or beginning of 2022.

b) All aspiring school leaders in Scotland are now required to undertake mandatory anti-racist professional learning as part of the Into Headship course modules. The professional learning was co-constructed with BME educators.

c) A series of 3 sessions for headteachers engaged in the Excellence in Headship series was delivered in 2020/21 academic session. The final of the series of 3 sessions was delivered on 22nd February 2021 with 22 attendees. We believe the move back to remote learning in January 2021 and the pressures this had on headteachers in particular impacted on the attendance figures, which were lower in the final session compared to the previous sessions. The delivery of this anti-racist professional learning for headteachers is now complete and an ongoing part of the EIH Learn offering from next academic session.

d) Work is underway on the Race Equality and Anti-Racism Programme board agreed Building Racial Literacy professional learning offer to support anti-racist approaches across the education system. This is being co-constructed with partners including the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER), Scotdec and Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE). Delivery of the programme is estimated to start in January 2022 with a prototype. We have embedded anti-racist professional learning across our range of Professional Learning and Leadership (PLL) offer and this approach is business as usual for the team and will evolve.

e) The standardised PLL template team slides have been updated in the first quarter of this year to ensure images are representative of Scotland’s educators and wider population. A review of promotional materials is part of the annual cycle.

f) As part of the CERG Workstream 6 coaching and mentoring offer, Education Scotland and GTC Scotland worked with SAMEE in three ways. The first, to deliver their bespoke Leadership and Mentoring Programme for 28 BME educators. The second area of this work included peer-to peer-mentoring. The third area involved working with 28 BME teachers in mentoring through preparation for promotion to leadership roles. (See SL90 for evaluation of this work). In addition to this PLL team members attended a BME educators network meeting on 5 May to discuss recruitment into the PLL team and offered a session on programme recruitment. The main programme recruitment period has now concluded for this academic session and working with stakeholder groups has now been established as one of our working principles across the team to support inclusive programme recruitment. We are now engaging with this work as part of our ongoing work.

Action - SL90

Working with key partners, Education Scotland will pilot and evaluate offers to support reflective supervision for educators. This reflective supervision offer is to support the mental wellbeing of staff who provide regular, close support to children, young people and families who themselves have experienced, or are experiencing their own significant distress and/or trauma.

Current Position

Complete

As part of the CERG funded workforce support package, support for mental health and wellbeing in 2021 has been offered by Barnardo’s Scotland and Place2Be. The main objective of the Barnardo’s offer was to enable staff to provide ‘spaces for wellbeing’ through a series of workshops. Place2Be offered a series of ‘Place2Think’ sessions which were designed to support both classroom-based staff and headteachers to reflect on their own psychological and emotional needs in response to the challenges raised by the pandemic. Place2Be also offered a series of webinars on different topics which were open to the wider education workforce. Both organisations have shared positive feedback from participants, much of which focused on an appreciation of the space to think differently. Key themes that have emerged are around empowerment and permissions where staff at all levels report feeling unable to take the time to focus on their own mental health and wellbeing. However, after engaging with the support offered they felt better equipped and empowered to support their own mental health and the wellbeing of those they support and lead. From January 2021 to date, 199 practitioners have engaged with the reflective supervision work from Barnardo’s and 425 practitioners have engaged with the Place2Think offer from Place2Be.

After a procurement exercise, a revised package of support is now available offering access to coaching, reflective supervision, ongoing development opportunities for early career teachers and tailored professional learning for BME educators.

Action - SL91

Education Scotland will hold a series of International Leadership Seminars during 2021 which will enable wider engagement across the system including with practitioners, school leaders and system leaders.

Current Position

Complete

A total of 10 International Series sessions have been delivered since December 2020 with a total number of 507 practitioners, school and system and leaders registered (including repeat engagements). The highest registered session was 'Whole system curriculum making' with Professor Mark Priestley with 89 attending. This current series has ended for the 2020/21 academic session and future planning for system work is underway.

Teacher professionalism

Action - TP01

The intention remains to fund professional learning for teachers in this area (Masters level Professional Learning) including at school leadership level.

Current Position

Ongoing

The Scottish Government continues to support Masters-level learning for teachers through the Teacher Education Partnerships with £750,000 funded in 20/21. A further £750,000 funding has been confirmed for 2021/22 and Teacher Education Partnerships have been notified of their allocations for this year's funding and grant letters are now being prepared.

Action - TP07

GTCS have strengthened accreditation procedures and are also reviewing the professional standards which, in time, are likely to require ITE courses to be amended.

Current Position

Complete

GTC Scotland have reviewed and revised the Professional Standards following consultation. Final approval by Council was achieved at the end of 2020. The new Standards have now been published and went live on 2 August 2021.

Action - TP31

Education Scotland will be commissioning new STEM related professional learning to complement that provided through existing programmes, including CLPL related to numeracy and mathematics.

Current Position

Complete

The STEM enhanced professional learning grants programme, operated by Education Scotland, will provide professional learning in financial year 2021/22 to an estimated 13,400 practitioners in 759 establishments.

Action - TP32

Additional collaborative professional learning opportunities in STEM will become available through the activities of the college-led STEM Hubs.

Current Position

Ongoing

Colleges have continued to build up these partnerships and to provide professional learning and increased engagement activity. The Partnerships bring together key regional stake-holders to drive progress around STEM and actions are co-ordinated through a national steering group.

Action - TP34

A Young STEM Leaders programme to grow mentoring and inspiration for STEM for young people by young people will be established. There will be piloting in the first half of 2019 with the programme starting to be rolled out in the second half of the year.

Current Position

Ongoing

The programme is offered at Curriculum for Excellence Second, Third and Fourth Levels, underpinned by a framework that identifies the skills, knowledge and behaviours expected of a young STEM leader. The Scottish Schools Education Research Centre – SSERC – who operate the programme, have made the SCQF accredited awards available as a Scotland-wide initiative. The aim is for at least 7,000 young people to be involved in the academic year 2021/22.

Action - TP86

In 2020, the Scottish Government will consider how the support and learning for probationer teachers on the TIS and FR can be strengthened to provide greater consistency towards achieving full professional registration with the GTCS and, working with key stakeholders, we will take steps to identify and agree what additional areas of professional learning are needed to improve the support available to post probation teachers.

Current Position

Complete

Additional support for early career teachers has been developed in partnership and agreed through the workforce support workstream of the COVID-19 Education Recovery Group. This package of support was launched in September 2020 and has been implemented throughout the 2020/21 session including the creation of the Stepping Stones programme, delivered in partnership with GTC Scotland. 871 early career teachers engaged with this offer in 2020/21 and with funding approved it continues into the 2021/22 academic session with an additional 171 new participants so far. Participants have been able to co-construct and help shape the offer to ensure it is meeting the needs of participants.

Action - TP89

Supporting Teacher Leadership participants have been invited to the TLP summit to promote the programme as a next step for TLP participants.

Current Position

Complete – business as usual

Supporting Teacher Leadership participants shared their experiences at the Teacher Leadership Summit in June 2021 and will continue to do so as an ongoing part of the TLP.

Action - TP90

Recent development of the endorsement process is expected to result in an increase in the number of programmes being submitted for endorsement and therefore the scope of activities on the online resource will grow.

Increased regional working by the PLL team and delivery of the programmes on a regional basis is expected to raise awareness of the online resource across Scotland. Additional communications may be needed in certain areas to promote the online resource.

Current Position

Complete – business as usual

Endorsement of professional learning programmes continues with 74 current programmes endorsed (an increase of 13 since the last reporting cycle).

Recently endorsed programmes include:

  • We:Align Coaching Programme via Sarah Philps Coaching
  • Resilience and Wellbeing for Educators via iHeart
  • Google for Education Teacher Centre via Google
  • Digital Leadership Programme via North Lanarkshire Council

There are approximately 25,600 registered users of the online resource which continues to develop with new and revised Professional Learning Activities (PLAs) to reflect the changing context. PLAs are self-directed learning modules open to anyone wanting to engage in further learning in a particular curriculum or leadership area. There are now over 82 PLAs available to practitioners and new additions include three PLAs on anti-racism Becoming an anti-racist educator; Talking about racism: steps to improve racial dialogue in education and Racial trauma: consequences of racism on mental wellbeing. Other PLAs added in 2021 include Establishing a differentiated classroom and Supporting learners with additional support needs in a mainstream classroom.

Action - TP91

Within the PLL programmes being offered, Excellence in Headship offers a session that directly supports the health and wellbeing of headteachers and their teams (‘Creating a mentally healthy school’ and ‘Coaching: Developing a Community of Practice’). Other programmes will also, where possible, include content relevant to health and wellbeing.

Current Position

Complete – business as usual

Teacher Leadership programme (TLP)

In March 2021, Clare Lavelle, Managing Director of The Hive of Wellbeing, delivered two TLP+ sessions – one for participants (15 attendees) and one for teachers in the system providing support to participants in the Critical Friend role (15 attendees) – focusing on their health and wellbeing. Barnardo’s delivered a TLP+ session on supporting children’s mental health in March 2021 with 14 attendees.

Stepping Stones programme

Gavin Oates has delivered a health and wellbeing session to 15 Stepping Stone programme participants. “I have never felt so inspired by a CPD session ever! I am a relatively new teacher (4 years in) and I resonated with everything Gavin said about staff who shouldn't be in the job at all. Let’s start making a change - one Mary Poppins at a time!!” Event evaluation from a participant.

School leaders

In addition to the planned ‘Creating a mentally healthy school’ and ‘Coaching: Developing a Community of Practice’ sessions, EIH has also delivered sessions around ‘Headteacher Resilience’ and ‘Conflict Resolution’ in the last quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021. EIH Stretch also provided a session dedicated to health and wellbeing led by Karen Edge with 54 participants attending. Participants shared their learning from the event and their priorities for taking this learning forward.

“The opportunity to discuss real-life issues with fellow professionals and also to know that it is okay and actually important to put my HWB at the forefront.”

“It will help me to re-evaluate some of my current practice to ensure I have a healthier work/life balance and project that more clearly to others also (I say it to them, but don't always model it!).”

Action - TP92

Education Scotland is engaging with teacher unions and employers to increase the support available to teachers including the creation of a teacher innovation fund.

Superseded

Due to COVID-19, funding originally allocated to take forward the work of the Enabling Teacher Agency group (which included an Innovation Fund) was re-profiled by Scottish Government to provide more urgent support for educator wellbeing through Workforce Support Workstream of the COVID-19 Education Recovery Group. Working in partnership with Professional Associations, GTC Scotland, ADES, COSLA, Scottish Government and Education Scotland, a package of support that included:

  • Barnardo’s Scotland supported the wellbeing of staff through ‘spaces for wellbeing’
  • ‘Place2Think’ sessions to support both classroom-based staff and headteachers to reflect on their own psychological and emotional needs in response to the challenges raised by the pandemic.
  • 1:1 coaching provided by KnowYouMore for headteachers, teachers in pastoral or child-protection roles, teachers new to post, early career teachers who were registered on the Stepping Stones programme, leaders in early learning and CLD managers.
  • Coaching, leadership and mentoring offers for Black and Minority Ethnic educators provided by the Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE).
  • The Stepping Stones programme delivered in partnership with GTCS with the aim of supporting teachers in their first four years post-probation.

Reporting on this funding is shared as part of other NIF actions (see SL90, TP103 and TP104).

Action - TP93

A collaborative system leadership EiH Learn session consisting of a number of days that will deepen professional knowledge and practice through collaborative professional enquiry and research linked to international research will be introduced as part of the overall EiH programme.

Current Position

Complete

In the academic session 2020/21, a new programme Excellence in Headship (EIH) Stretch was launched. 54 experienced headteachers engaged in collaborative enquiry to explore, analyse and suggest improvements to aspects of the education system in Scotland, including assessment and qualifications; equalities and reference to international education systems for learning related to the Scottish context. An event entitled, 'Scotland Listens: An opportunity to interact with the think pieces from the Excellence in Headship Stretch programme' in December will see headteachers sharing their learning, thinking and recommendations with colleagues across the system to influence and shape system thinking.

“The past 18 months has forced many school leaders into an increasingly operational role as they cope with the demands of the pandemic. It has been important to try and retain a strategic, outward focus during this time and plan to build on the many positive changes that have taken place as a result of new ways of working. The involvement in the programme has been a significant support, enabling me to spend time with colleagues from across the country, sharing our experiences of leading during a pandemic but also to challenge our thinking and maintain a empowered focus in what had been a very challenging time in school leadership.”

(Participant in the EIH Stretch programme)

Action - TP94

The Masters Framework Working Group chaired by Education Scotland and including university partners has identified planned next steps including developing new guidance to support practitioners in identifying future pathways towards Masters.

Current Position

Complete

Masters guidance has been updated based on the work of the Masters Framework working group. The Masters guidance is held on the Education Scotland Professional Learning Resource. This guidance includes pathways updated by university providers to clarify the options which potential participants have to work towards a Masters. The guidance includes information about the benefits of Masters studying and also includes case studies from previous participants. The website is live and was shared via a short video (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_ytJf51NkAl--Q9cogBArsUpaAsm0PN4/view?usp=sharing) with the Scottish Council of Deans to keep them updated on the completion of the work and to ensure that the information will be regularly reviewed and updated.

Action - TP95

We will continue to encourage more people into teaching, particularly those groups under-represented in the profession (men and minority ethnic communities) as well as in particular subjects (STEM) and geographical areas.

Current Position

Ongoing

The recruitment campaign “That’s What Teaching Taught Me” for entrants into Initial Teacher Education in August 2022 commenced on 8 November.

Action - TP98

To support the new Initial Teacher Education self-evaluation framework, a second self-evaluation symposium will be held in 2021 with ITE providers focused on diversity and health and wellbeing.

Current Position

Complete

Findings from application of the framework in relation to numeracy have been published, following a symposium event held on 8 October 2019 involving all 11 ITE institutions. Due to COVID-19, plans for symposium events in 2020 were cancelled. The latest symposium event was held on 8 June 2021 in which each of the providers of ITE shared how they are preparing student teachers to support health and wellbeing in the classroom and also diversity.

Action - TP99

As part of the Education Scotland Scottish Attainment Challenge (SAC) plan, milestone 1b focusses on supporting practitioners to network and share knowledge of what is working well to support the educational recovery of the most disadvantaged children and young people. This will be achieved in collaboration with partner organisations and practitioners to encourage sharing knowledge around the system through a range of approaches including for example, Education Scotland’s Blether series.

Current Position

Complete

Final three sessions from the plan have been delivered:

1. SAC Wee Blether – Where next for the Scottish Attainment Challenge

2. SAC Sharing Practice Session - Creating a Culture for Equity – Care Experienced and Vulnerable learners.

3. SAC Wee Blether – Transitions through an Equity Lens

All three sessions were positively received.

Milestone group have learned a lot about the process in the last year and have identified further ways this could be improved if this was to be carried forward as well as potential themes for sessions. Proposals from group have been put forward for SLF.

Action - TP100

Education Scotland will put in place a quality assurance process by April 2021 to ensure that all professional learning activities (PLAs) are of a consistent and high standard. Processes will be established and in place to ensure online content is refreshed, PLA material is updated and the impact of implementation is evident. Materials will be developed and utilised. Increased practitioner skill and confidence will be evidenced through course evaluations initially.

Current Position

Complete

The following series of webinars took place in 2021:

  • Equity and care experienced children and young people
  • PEF: Effective use of data
  • Evidence based interventions
  • Effective Multi Agency Practice: Considering community approaches
  • Outcomes and measure

In addition these were recorded and published on the National Improvement Hub. The aims of the sessions were to support practitioners and leaders working with learners and families, especially those affected by poverty. All sessions were quality assured and feedback from attendees was positive. A fuller programme is in place for 2021/22.

Action - TP101

To support the mental health and inclusion of vulnerable children and young people (CYP), and their families during the recovery from COVID-19, thereby addressing the achievement gap, Education Scotland will undertake the development of a self-evaluation tool kit for practitioners to support the implementation of GIRFEC for all learners (GIRFL), which will be championed by, and in, RICs to ensure a better balance of mental health. Inclusive teaching and learning offers and the rights of CYP will be incorporated into all of Education Scotland’s activities.

Current Position

Complete

The Getting it Right for all Learners Toolkit was published on the National Improvement Hub in May 2021: https://education.gov.scot/improvement/self-evaluation/getting-it-right-for-all-learners-during-covid/ and has had 561 page views. Raising awareness and supporting its implementation with RICs is now part of ongoing business.

A range of resources have been developed and published on the National Improvement Hub to support inclusive practice, relational approaches and mental health and wellbeing for practitioners and children and young people. https://education.gov.scot/improvement/learning-resources/nurture-and-trauma-informed-approaches-a-summary-of-supports-and-resources/ 1,492 views (published) March - September 2021

https://education.gov.scot/improvement/self-evaluation/inc83-nurture-adverse-childhood-experiences-and-trauma-informed-practice/ 1,693 views December 2020 – September 2021.

https://education.gov.scot/improvement/learning-resources/resources-for-school-staff-to-support-positive-mental-wellbeing-of-children-and-young-people/ 7040 views December 2020- September 2021

https://wakelet.com/wake/OF4Wn9vgZMTRJKa2QN1Yk 293 views

A Team space has been made available for Educational Psychologist trainers and ES which has allowed the Compassionate Connected Community professional learning to be updated to facilitate virtual presentations over ten sessions for the current context.

Update re Cycle of Wellbeing

The Cycle of Wellbeing page has had 1671 page views since it was published on 16 November 2021, with users spending an average 4:03 minutes on the page.

These approaches are complemented by further support for school staff to enhance understanding and support for mental health and wellbeing through schools. During the COVID-19 pandemic we have sought to increase support available to children and young people, as locally as possible.

Counselling support is now available in schools across Scotland, initial evaluations confirm that this has been very beneficial to children and young people who have accessed services. We have also provided new online professional learning on children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, including support for the wellbeing of school staff, within the context of a whole-school approach to wellbeing.

We have also published guidance on whole-school approaches to mental heatlh and wellbeing in schools, to further support schools and school staff in their support of their pupils.

The evidence provided by the health and wellbeing census will ensure local and national priorities can continue to be aligned, and actions can be streamlined to priorities. It will also support schools and education authorities to identify issues children and young people are concerned about and to tailor their learning in PSE, and their advice and support services accordingly.

Action - TP102

Education Scotland will adapt the Teacher Leadership Programme and Supporting Teacher Leadership Programmes to be delivered exclusively online, with a mixture of online meetings, networking events and self-directed learning modules. This will include the introduction of online twilight workshops with practitioner input into content and themes. Continuation of Blethers to provide professional dialogue and networking opportunities to a wider teacher audience.

Current Position

Complete

The Teacher Leadership Programme and Supporting Teacher Leadership Programmes were successively adapted to be delivered exclusively online, with a mixture of online meetings, networking events and self-directed learning modules. More than 100 participants are on the Teacher Leadership Programme and currently more than 30 on the Supporting Teacher Leadership Programmes.

Online twilight workshops were introduced with practitioner input into content and themes and included 2 anti-racist workshops by members of SAMEE (Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators) on critical race theory and decolonising the curriculum were delivered between Dec and March 2021 and were recorded and available to participants to watch anytime.

Action - TP103

Engagement in the Workforce Support package of resources including coaching and mentoring and reflective supervision, including participants’ evaluations, will be monitored to ensure the concepts are useful for participants.

Current Position

Complete – business as usual

This work forms part of the offer from the Workforce Support Workstream of the COVID-19 Education Recovery Group (CERG). The first year of this workforce support package has ended. Evaluations continue to be gathered by partner providers to evidence the impact of this work. As with other elements of the CERG Workstream Package of support, planning is under way to take this work forward over the course of 2021/22. The procurement process is being followed to select providers to take forward this work over the course of 2021/22 as part of the continued package of support the education workforce.

Action - TP104

Education Scotland will deliver the post probationer package of support ‘Stepping Stones: Support for teachers in their early career’. The Stepping Stones programme will include a dedicated space on the Education Scotland Professional Learning resource providing access to a series of workshops, online ‘Blethers’ and specific PLAs. There will additionally be a Stepping Stones Community on Microsoft teams to allow sharing, networking and collaboration. In this way the programme will provide an element of peer support for teachers for their own wellbeing.

Current Position

Complete – business as usual

The Stepping Stones programme was launched with the aim of increasing the confidence, skills and knowledge of teachers in their first four years post-probation and is delivered in partnership with GTC Scotland. It was recognised that the pandemic led to disruption to the learning of early career teachers therefore the programme offers opportunities for early career teachers to engage in professional dialogue with peers, develop their knowledge and understanding of the curriculum to enhance their practice and to support their capacity to support learners. Themes of the professional learning sessions included interview skills, culturally responsive pedagogy, health and wellbeing and preparing for PRD. In evaluation of this work, almost all (between 91% and 100%) of participant feedback affirmed that the workshops have supported them to develop knowledge and understanding, to reflect on their practice and link this to our Professional Standards. 871 early career teachers engaged with this offer in 2020/21 and with funding approved it continues into the 2021/22 academic session with an additional 171 new participants so far. Participants have been able to co-construct and help shape the offer to ensure it is meeting the needs of participants. As well as peer support, practitioners have also benefited from the offer of coaching from Middle Leader’s Leading Change programme participants and self-directed learning through Professional Learning Activities (PLAs).

Action - TP105

Professional learning and support for languages will be provided through funding for local government for languages 1+2, through Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, SCILT, by Education Scotland and through the British Council’s Modern Language Assistant Programme.

Current Position

Completed

Local authorities received additional funding of £2.4m to support implementation of the 1+2 policy during 2021-22, bringing the total provided to £35.6m since 2013. Annual grant funding also continues to be used to support the activities of key delivery partners. Our regular surveys of local authorities on implementation of the 1+2 policy indicate that the majority of schools are now delivering it to learners, providing language learning from P1 onwards. The most recent survey was conducted during Spring 2021, and the findings will be published in due course.

Action - TP106

To promote the recruitment of Gaelic teachers, the Scottish Government is funding a Gaelic Teacher Recruitment Officer at Bòrd na Gàidhlig (BnG) to attract Gaelic speakers into the profession. A range of promotional materials have been prepared for this purpose and BnG and Skills Development Scotland (SDS) are promoting Gaelic teaching at school events. In addition courses are available at Glasgow University and Sabhal Mor Ostaig to assist teachers who would like to transfer from English to Gaelic teaching and also local authorities are providing support within their area for those who would like to teach through the medium of Gaelic.

Current Position

Ongoing

GTC Scotland have carried out a survey of registered staff highlighting circa 700 individuals are interested in Gaelic CPD. We are now looking at how this information can be converted to support for these teachers.

SG has set up a group to look at Language Assistants and CNES are working on the HR issues around this development with a course also in development at the Gaelic College, SMO. SG has supported SpeakGaelic, which widens access through a free multi-platform resource for anyone interested in learning the language.

Action - TP107

To support the new Initial Teacher Education self-evaluation framework, a second self-evaluation symposium will be held in 2021 with ITE providers focused on diversity and health and wellbeing.

Current Position

Complete

The second Self-Evaluation Framework for Initial Teacher Education (ITE) symposium was jointly hosted by Education Scotland and Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE) on Tuesday 8th June with 107 educators from across Higher Education Institutions (HEIs); agencies including Education Scotland and GTC Scotland; local authorities and Regional Improvement Collaboratives attending. The event included detailed reflection around the preparedness of student teachers to support the health and wellbeing of pupils and to examine the theme of diversity within ITE. An evaluation survey was shared and 45 participants completed the survey with 40 rating the event as 'excellent' or 'very good.' "Breadth of learning opportunities, keynote speeches, and smaller workshop spaces. Great to hear about work in other ITE programmes and use this to critically reflect on our own practice." "Interesting topics and discussions that allow us to reflect on and challenge our practices." (Attendee evaluations). A working group is being set up by SCDE to take forward work from this symposium and the third symposium is provisionally booked as a face-to-face event in October 2022.

Parental engagement

Action - PE04

Early Learning and Childcare Quality Action Plan includes a commitment to increase support for evidence-based family learning to embed this in the early learning offer for families facing disadvantage.

Current Position

Ongoing

The Scottish Government’s Programme for Goverment 2019/20 committed to provide £500,000 to establish the Family Learning Scotland Programme.

Peeple have been contracted to train and support up to 432 early years practitioners across Scotland over a 2 year period, to December 2021, to implement the Peep learning together programme training and the Peep progression Pathway.

To support ongoing development, as at October 2021, every local authority has a Peep Practitioner Champion to support the further embedding of the approach.

Action - PE18

Scottish Government to work with the GTCS/Scottish Education Workforce Council to review and improve the Initial Teacher Education and Continuing Professional Development offer to headteachers in relation to parental engagement. Detailed commitments will be contained in a National Action Plan on Parental Engagement and Family Learning by June 2018.

Current Position

Complete – business as usual

The Scottish Government and COSLA published the “Learning Together” National Action Plan in August 2018. The plan contains a number of actions relating to workforce, professional development and skills. These actions continue to be progressed in partnership with Education Scotland and GTC Scotland.

An Initial Teacher Education Knowledge Exchange Group was also re-convened by Education Scotland in 2021. This includes representatives from initial teacher education universities across Scotland who meet to share knowledge and best practice about how student teachers, probationers and post-probationers learn about parental involvement, parental engagement, family learning and learning at home.

Action - PE30

Almost double the hours of early learning and childcare to 1140 per year

Current Position

Complete

1140 hours of childcare came into force on 1 August 2021. Every Council has confirmed that all eligible children who applied have been offered an 1140 place, and that these places have been delivered.

Data returned by local authorities indicates:

  • 90,890 children were accessing funded ELC as of the end of August 2021.
  • Of these, 88,122 children (97%) were accessing more than 600 hours, and 79,262 children (87%) were accessing 1140 hours funded ELC.
  • A year-on-year increase of 27% in the numbers of eligible 2-year-olds accessing funded ELC, up from 4,711 in August 2020 to 5,954 in August 2021.
  • Local authority ELC workforce has increased by 7,942 FTE since 2016/17, including an increase of 757 FTE since April 2021.

there were 912 projects in the capital programme, 81% of which are now complete.

Action - PE36

The joint Scottish Government/COSLA “Learning Together” Action Plan was published on 21 August 2018. The plan contains a variety of national actions in relation to both involvement and engagement which will be implemented in 2019, including: review and strengthen statutory guidance in time for academic year 2019/20

Current Position

Paused c-19

A working group was set up to develop fresh statutory guidance. The group met four times over the course of 2019, and developed draft amended guidance by the end of August 2019. This guidance was consulted on from January - June 2020 and responses were published, where permission was given, on 5th August 2020. The responses can be found here - https://consult.gov.scot/learning-directorate/parental-involvement-act/consultation/published_select_respondent.

  • The responses to the consultation on the revised statutory guidance have been analysed and a report with the findings will be issued in due course. The cross stakeholder parental engagement steering group (including Scottish Government, ADES and national parent organisations NPFS and Connect) agreed to postpone the work to finalise and then issue revised guidance at this time, and the work has continued to be paused on the basis that education authorities and schools are dealing with COVID-19 and have limited capacity to prepare for and implement refreshed statutory guidance until the demands from the pandemic have subsided. The Learning together Steering group will meet in January 2022 where they will consider and decide if work to publish fresh guidance should be part of the new "pandemic recovery" parental engagement vision/plan which will succeed the Learning Together plan.

Action - PE38

The joint Scottish Government/COSLA “Learning Together” Action Plan was published on 21 August 2018. The plan contains a variety of national actions in relation to both involvement and engagement which will be implemented in 2019, including: raise awareness of participatory budgeting amongst parents

Current Position

Ongoing

The Learning Directorate's Parental Involvement Team continue to liaise with SG colleagues who lead on Participatory Budgeting (PB) to ensure that steps are taken to further raise awareness amongst parent organisations and across local authorities and Parent Councils of the potential to use PB to deliver on their aims. The National Parent Forum of Scotland have highlighted the potential for participatory budgeting to Parent Councils via social media. A group of practitioners interested in Participatory Budgeting in Schools was established and brought together by Education Scotland, with invites to the Parental Involvement Team. Resource pages to identify and share practice and learning have been developed and are available online and on the National Improvement Hub.

In 2020 a National PB Strategic Group was established and developed a framework for PB, including ambitions, intentions and strategic areas to focus energy. The Framework for the future of Participatory Budgeting in Scotland was completed in summer 2021 and education is one of five themes in the new Framework. The three key education priorities are: supporting high quality PB processes in education; encouraging a focus on developing PB further in secondary schools; and advocating for the ongoing development of PB as a tool to address challenges of poverty and inequality experienced by children by supporting the Pupil Equity Fund and Scottish Attainment Challenge. The role of parent organisations and Parent Councils will be important to help support and drive the delivery of these priorities in collaboration with key stakeholders nationally and locally.

Action - PE39

The joint Scottish Government/COSLA “Learning Together” Action Plan was published on 21 August 2018. The plan contains a variety of national actions in relation to both involvement and engagement which will be implemented in 2019, including: work with local authority partners to increase access to home-school link workers and similar roles

Partially completed – now closed The first meeting of a national working group was held in August 2018, a second meeting on 18 January 2019. A survey of local authorities was issued in late 2018 in order to provide more comprehensive information on access to home/school link workers, current coverage and the various models being adopted by local authorities. Education Scotland published additional guidance on the home/school link worker in March 2019: https://education.gov.scot/improvement/Documents/par2-section9-mar19.pdf

The survey information gathered via local authorities in late 2018 and early 2019 indicated that whilst the original Programme for Government commitment to provide access to a home school link worker for every school was not achieved, the additional funding from the Scottish Attainment Challenge and Pupil Equity Funding had helped to expand access to home-school link workers across Scotland, and that those roles were making a positive contribution to the work of schools.

Action - PE40

The joint Scottish Government/COSLA “Learning Together” Action Plan was published on 21 August 2018. The plan contains a variety of national actions in relation to both involvement and engagement which will be implemented in 2019, including: invest in the Parent Club marketing campaign

Current Position

Complete

A joint literacy/numeracy and Eat Better, Feel Better campaign ran in 2019 and independent evaluation is complete. All planned topics were consolidated to the Parent Club website increasing visibility of the content and cost effectiveness. A "Read, Write, Count" focused Parent Club targeted campaign was carried out in November 2020 on a smaller scale that in previous years, to coincide with the gifting of activity bags and evaluation of that project is due to be carried out in 2021. A "Read, Write, Count" focused Parent Club targeted campaign was carried out in November 2020 on a smaller scale than in previous years, to coincide with the gifting of activity bags and evaluation of that project will be carried out as part of a wider evaluation of both the Bookbug and the Read, Write, Count projects. This is due to be carried out in early 2022 engaging with pupils, parents and practitioners up to Primary 6 to establish the impact both projects are having on pupils' learning of literacy and numeracy. In addition - and in response to COVID-19 - a wide range of school-related parent information and advice was developed for the new, dedicated Coronavirus Parent Club page. This included advice on blended/remote learning, school closures, the re-opening of schools and other education settings and a variety of associated as well as further specific COVID-19 issues (e.g. Additional Support Needs). Social media content was developed and shared and core Q&A information was provide to parents via the Parent Club web pages.

Action - PE70

Education Scotland will continue to hold the Family Learning National Network meetings which brings together practitioners, academics, researchers and policymakers who share good practice and expertise.

Current Position

Complete – business as usual

There has been regular communication with members of the Family Learning National Network with meetings focusing on areas such as: family learning links and legacy planning in support of COP 26, the Child Poverty Action Group report on financial capability for families, Save the Children - whole school approach to engaging families and Summer programmes with family learning practitioners being invited to share their plans.

Action - PE72

Education Scotland will work with local authority partners, colleges, third sector and other partners to develop case studies which will highlight examples of interesting practice and evaluation strategies.

Current Position

Complete

Moorfoot Primary School, Abercromby Primary School and Holyrood Secondary School case studies were published on the National Improvement Hub towards the end of the year in 2020. To date there has been a number of page views for the case studies since publication

Action - PE74

Education Scotland will continue to work with Regional Improvement Collaboratives, local authorities, practitioners, Scottish Prison Service, Colleges and Universities, Early Learning and Childcare settings and schools during 2020/21 to help them further develop approaches to family learning.

Current Position

Complete

The Family Learning Framework was updated in February 2021 - https://education.gov.scot/improvement/practice-exemplars/family-learning-framework/. The framework has been promoted by the ES Comms Team, through various networks and national, regional and local webinars, as appropriate, to support a consistent and structured approach to family learning provision in Scotland.

Action - PE75

Education Scotland will conduct a thematic inspection review of family learning in 2020.

Current Position

Complete

This report was published on 17 February 2021. The report, an accompanying presentation and sketchnotes of specific exemplification can be found at this link. https://education.gov.scot/education-scotland/what-we-do/inspection-and-review/chief-inspector-report/national-thematic-inspections/engaging-families-in-learning-a-thematic-inspection-of-family-learning/

This report explores the impact of schools and other settings working with families to improve learning and achievement. It identifies the key features of highly-effective practice in engaging families in learning and provides examples of quality family learning which are helping to secure better outcomes for children and young people. The case studies of practice in the report, captured before COVID-19, have been revisited to see how the identified settings and services have engaged families in learning during educational recovery.

Action - PE76

Education Scotland will continue to promote and support its Review of Learning at Home and it’s Family Learning Framework alongside its work to support family learning.

Current Position

Complete

The Review of Learning at Home and the Family Learning Framework has been updated and promoted at all appropriate professional learning online sessions. Both resources have been widely used by local authorities to develop their parental engagement and family learning strategies and recovery plans.

Action - PE79

Scottish Government will work with partners to develop accompanying advice and support materials during the course of 2020. These will be provided alongside the final statutory guidance.

Current Position

Paused C-19

All sections of the Empowered System guidance, which included the Parents and Carers section, were published as agreed drafts by October 2019. Feedback was invited from this date with a focused period of engagement in place from January to March 2020. There had been limited response to the engagement prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. The feedback mechanism remained open until June 2020, with no additional comments received during this extended time.

The agreed draft guidance remains available from the Education Scotland empowered system web page at: https://education.gov.scot/improvement/learning-resources/an-empowered-system

The National Parent Forum of Scotland produced a nutshell as a guide to Scotland’s Empowered System, the Importance of Parents within this System and Parents’ Rights and Responsibilities which can be downloaded from their website:

https://www.npfs.org.uk/downloads/empowering-parents-and-carers/

Action - PE82

Education Scotland will continue to promote its Reporting to Parents and Carers Guidance for schools and Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) settings document.

Current Position

Complete – business as usual

Guidance on reporting to parents was published in November 2020 - https://education.gov.scot/improvement/learning-resources/guidance-for-early-learning-and-childcare-settings-schools-and-local-authorities-during-covid-19/. This has been promoted via existing social media and communication channels and national networks.

Action - PE84

Scottish Government will promote the new guidance on parental and carer empowerment as part of the broader school empowerment reforms.

Current Position

Complete

All sections of the Empowered System guidance, which included the Parents and Carers section, were published as agreed drafts by October 2019. Feedback was invited with a focused period of engagement in place from January to March 2020. There had been limited response to the engagement prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. The feedback mechanism remained open until June 2020, with no additional comments received during this extended time.

The agreed draft guidance remains available from the Education Scotland empowered system web page at: https://education.gov.scot/improvement/learning-resources/an-empowered-system

Action - PE85

There will be improvement activity throughout 2020 by Regional Improvement Collaborative, local authorities, practitioners, early learning and childcare settings, schools, relevant partners and stakeholder groups to help further develop approaches to parental involvement, parental engagement, family learning and learning at home.

Current Position

Complete

Work has been undertaken in all six regional improvement collaboratives. This has included work on career-long professional learning sessions and assistance with developing strategies. Guidance for early learning and childcare settings, schools and local authorities during COVID-19 has been promoted and is available at - https://education.gov.scot/improvement/learning-resources/guidance-for-early-learning-and-childcare-settings-schools-and-local-authorities-during-covid-19/. Professional learning activities for Family Learning and Learning at Home are also available at - https://professionallearning.education.gov.scot/learn/learning-activities/

Action - PE89

The Scottish Government will engage with the Learning Together National Steering Group in order to reflect on parental involvement and engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will include a reflection on the experience of virtual parent consultations and Parent Council meetings with a view to informing any future guidance and advice to schools. Practice examples will be shared with the national parental engagement network and via Education Scotland’s regional improvement support.

Current Position

Ongoing

A workshop held with the Learning Together National Steering group provided outputs that will be used to inform a refreshed vision/plan on parental engagement for the post-pandemic period. The outcomes of these sessions are currently being considered and a refreshed vision/plan on parental engagement for the post-pandemic period will be developed in late 2021, in collaboration with the steering group and the broader network on parental engagement. Practice examples will continue to be shared with the Learning Together National Network and via existing networks.

Action - PE90

The 2020/21 Parental Involvement and Engagement (PIE) Census is being undertaken on a ‘volunteer’ basis, reflecting the ongoing COVID-related issues which may impact on schools’ capacity to undertake the PIE Census in 2020/21. Fieldwork for this PIE Census is planned to take place between January and March 2021.

Current Position

Ongoing

The Parental Involvement and Engagement (PIE) Census is being implemented by local authorities in 2021/22 academic year, following cancellation in 2020/21 due to school closures. Local authorities will survey their parent/carer community, with local data available around May 2022. This will be shared with Scottish Government around June 2022. There remains a clear appetite for data.

Action - PE91

Scottish Government will monitor and share with partners, the quantitative and qualitative evidence from COVID-19 survey work by parental organisations during the course of 2020/21. This will include but may not be limited to:

  • Survey work by National Parent Forum of Scotland in relation to learning at home during COVID-19, parent views on national qualifications during 2020/21 and other education themes.
  • Survey work by Connect – example: Parent/Carer Back at School Survey Report (Nov 2020)

The work to share this information will help to inform the ongoing development of policy and practice on parental engagement and decisions and considerations of the COVID-19 Education Recovery Group and wider forums.

Current Position

Ongoing

The Scottish Government continue to monitor surveys being undertaken by NPFS and Connect, meeting regularly with both organisations, and will continue to take account of the evidence produced by these surveys. The work to share this information will help to inform the ongoing development of policy and practice on parental engagement and decisions and considerations of the COVID-19 Education Recovery Group and wider forums.

Action - PE92

Scottish Government and Education Scotland will publicise relevant guidance and advice on parental involvement during Covid-19 to schools via key communication channels and via the national parental engagement network.

Current Position

Ongoing

This action is ongoing with information and guidance being shared with the group on a regular basis.

Guidance setting out principles and expectations around reporting to parents, parents' evenings and the operation of Parent Councils during COVID-19 was published in November 2020. This included further practical examples in Education Scotland guidance - https://education.gov.scot/media/qqydodzt/cerg-reporting-to-parents-guidance-nov-2020.pdf. With COVID-19 ongoing and, as at end 2021 a restriction on “in person” parent evenings still in place, the Scottish Government and Education Scotland will continue to liaise with partners, and national parent organisations, to monitor the provision of alternative parent consultations.

Action - PE93

Education Scotland will develop and deliver a series of Creative Conversations / Wee Blethers/Webinars in collaboration with schools, local authorities, partner and stakeholder groups as appropriate.

Current Position

Complete – business as usual

Creative Conversations were developed in collaboration with partner and stakeholder organisations including the research community, national network, the third sector and regional improvement collaboratives Feedback from participants showed an increase in knowledge, awareness and confidence in this area.

Action - PE94

Education Scotland will update National Improvement Hub, wakelets (content curation platforms) and relevant practitioner online platforms with the most up-to-date and relevant information and resources in collaboration with relevant partners including the research community.

Current Position

Complete – business as usual

Resources are updated regularly and shared with relevant partner and stakeholder groups through networks, online platforms and social media channels.

Action - PE95

Education Scotland will work with national and international practitioners, researchers, policy makers to provide opportunities for knowledge exchange.

Current Position

Complete – business as usual

A series of national and international sessions have been held to date. Topics/knowledge exchange include: Social and emotional learning; ESOL and whole school community approaches; effective engagement strategies with parents and families. Feedback to date has been very positive from attendees at the sessions.

Action - PE96

Education Scotland will develop and deliver a series of workshops for Newly Qualified Teachers/Probationers.

Current Position

Complete

All 4 workshops were held. Sessions covered: Introduction to Parental Involvement/Engagement and Family Learning; Policy and strategy; Research and evaluation. Feedback has been very positive from contributing local authorities and attendees.

Action - PE97

Education Scotland will continue to refresh the content of Parentzone Scotland website during 2021.

Complete – business as usual

The Parentzone Scotland website continues to be updated regularly. The news and events section has been used to provide updates to parents and families in a timely manner.

Assessment of children’s progress

Action - AC01

From April 2018, we will also draw upon the Care Inspectorate’s inspections data to assess the extent to which graduate-level practitioners are improving outcomes for children.

Current Position

Complete

The Scottish Government worked with the Care Inspectorate to evaluate the impact of the commitment to fund additional graduates in nurseries in the most deprived areas. These posts are known nationally as Equity and Excellence Leads but have different job titles within local authorities.

From September 2019, this included a specific focus area for the remainder of the inspection year to understand how Equity and Excellence Leads are being deployed and to assess what indications there are of early impact on: children’s learning and wellbeing outcomes; family engagement and involvement in their child’s learning; and practitioner skills.

While data gathering for the Care Inspectorate Special Inspection Focus was interrupted by COVID-19, a report was published in March 2021 highlighting the emerging key themes from the inspection focus up to March 2020 and work done by Excellence and Equity Leads during the COVID-19 lockdown and beyond:

Equity and excellence leads: Care Inspectorate findings - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

Action - AC02

From 2020, we will also draw upon two additional health visitor assessments at 13 months and at around 54 months.

Current Position

Ongoing

The second annual release from the 13-15 month and 4-5 year review was published in April 2021. Coverage of these reviews has increased substantially over the last year, with the implementation of the Universal Health Visiting Pathway across Scotland. In 2019/20, coverage of the 13-15 month and 4-5 year review was 88% and 70% respectively. These additional data sets should provide a more holistic picture of child development among the under 5s. The earlier review point at 13-15 month should provide information to enable early intervention to support parents where this is required. The inclusion of 13-15 month and 4-5 year review in NIF measures is currently under consideration.

Action - AC03

From 2021, we anticipate a revised ELC census that will provide additional data on some of the drivers of children’s outcomes.

Current Position

Ongoing

Work to enable data on the number of hours spent in ELC, which is a driver of child outcomes, to be available in the ELC Census was delayed due to a delay in the roll-out of the SEEMiS Early Years management information system. It will now be 2023 before we have individual level data on children accessing funded ELC.

Data is currently available on the development of children at age 27-30 months. We continue to monitor uptake rates of the 27-30 month review and the additional reviews at 13-15 months and 4-5 years. Health and wellbeing data is available at aggregate level for 4-12 year olds through the Scottish Health Survey, and for 13 and 15 year olds from SALSUS.

Action - AC11

Two significant areas of development of data on school leaver destinations are underway. The first is to improve the data set by including employment data. Scottish Government and SDS are working with HMRC to develop solutions that will allow individual level employment data to be shared to support service delivery and service reform. The aim is to have these arrangements in place by Autumn 2018.

Current Position

Missed – ongoing

After the successful Proof of Concept test data transfer between HMRC and SDS in 2019, Scottish Government is seeking to agree sharing of employment data from HMRC to SDS. We have resubmitted a data sharing application to HMRC in order to progress accessing this individual level tax information on a regular basis as the previous application was rejected. Progress on this action has been slow and action owners have been unable to commit to a deadline due to long standing discussions with HMRC.

Action - AC18

We will ensure that nurseries in the most disadvantaged areas in Scotland benefit from an additional teacher or degree qualified early learning and childcare professional from August 2018.

Current Position

Complete

These posts, known nationally as Equity and Excellence Leads, provide graduate-level career progression opportunities in ELC and enable specialist pedagogy practice to be delivered within key settings and support wider professional development across the sector.

From September 2019, the Scottish Government worked with the Care Inspectorate to understand how the policy is being implemented. This included a specific focus area for the remainder of the 2019/20 inspection year to understand how EE Leads are being deployed and to assess what indications there are of early impact on: children’s learning and wellbeing outcomes; family engagement and involvement in their child’s learning; and practitioner skills.

While data gathering for the Care Inspectorate Special Inspection Focus was interrupted by COVID-19, a report was published in March 2021 highlighting the emerging key themes from the inspection focus up to March 2020 and work done by EE Leads during the COVID-19 lockdown and beyond.

This report will support the national development of this important role in future years.

During 2021, Children and Young People Improvement Collaborative (CYPIC) developed a programme of support with the Early Learning and Childcare Community to support the achievement and acceleration of improved outcomes for children through the use of quality improvement methods. This will contribute to the continued development of Equity and Excellence Leads and the wider Early Learning Community.

Action - AC22

We will implement the Getting it Right for Looked After Children Strategy in full. We will take a tailored approach to young people who most need support, increasing positive destinations from school for looked after children by 4 percentage points per annum, resulting in parity by 2021.

Current Position

Ongoing

As in previous years, it is important to respond to the needs of care experienced young people through a trauma responsive lens. There is no doubt that additional funding to schools, through the Attainment Scotland Fund (ASF), including over £250m of Pupil Equity Funding (PEF) in 2020/21 and 2021/22, and an additional £20m PEF Premium in 2021/22, means schools are better able to improve the way they support children and young people who have been impacted by adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and improve support around their mental and emotional health and wellbeing. Around £33m of Scottish Government funding has been invested since 2018 by local authorities to improve the attainment of care experienced children and young people. We are committed to investing £1 billion over this parliament to close the attainment gap and support education recovery and have paid the first instalment of the expanded ASF in the first 100 days of the new Parliament. As part of this commitment we are committing record funding of over £200m to the Attainment Scotland Fund in 2021/22, including around £11.6m of additional Care Experienced Children and Young People funding. Chief Social Workers and Directors of Education will decide how this funding will be used. We continue to focus on improving the outcomes for those with care experience through Developing the Young Workforce, our youth employment strategy, and the implementation of the recommendations of the Commission on Widening Access. Additionally, the findings of, and response to, the Review of Implementation of Additional Support for Learning will be of relevance to ensure every child and young person who becomes looked after has the opportunity, where relevant, to have in place a focused plan to meet their learning needs and maximise the likelihood of achieving a positive destination.

Underpinning these work packages, it will be important to view the support we provide to looked after children and young people in education settings through the lens of the Independent Care Review’s findings as set out in “The Promise” which published in February 2020. The Promise has set the challenge to us all to determine how we will work together in partnership, across national and local Government and beyond, to ensure we deliver for care experienced children and young people – and in a way which minimises the need for children, young people and families to require the support of a formal care system. This year the Promise Scotland was set up to oversee and ensure The Promise is kept by 2030. The Plan 21-24 was published by The Promise Scotland in March and sets out a number of actions necessary to deliver The Promise. In June, The Change Programme was published by The Promise Scotland which outlines an update on progress against each of the actions. The Scottish Government are already working across over 40 areas of policy and legislation towards the priorities identified in The Promise Scotland’s Plan 21-24 and Change Programme One, in the initial phases of implementing the conclusions of the Independent Care Review by 2030. Also to support early implementation, the Scottish Government has responded by investing an initial £4m in the Promise Partnership – a fund set up to deliver early, preventative, holistic family support based on the needs of children, young people and their families.

In 2019/20, 75% of care experienced young people (looked after within the last year) and 92% of all school leavers were in a positive destination and we’ll continue to work collaboratively to increase positive destinations for care experienced young people. A further £4m has been committed up to financial year 23/24

The Promise Partnership is currently being administered by the Corra Foundation on behalf of the Scottish Government. The Promise Partnership Advisory Group helped to shape the process and the Decision Makers Panel, a group with lived experience of Scotland’s care system, assisted in the final funding decisions. In 20/21, 72 investments have been made to 69 organisations, helping to create capacity, adapt approaches and work towards cultural shifts and collaboration across the care system, reflecting what is important to care experienced children, young people and families.

Action - AC24

From January 2017 we will implement the Making Maths Count report recommendations to encourage greater enthusiasm for, and a greater understanding of, the value of mathematics amongst children and young people, their parents, carers and the wider public.

Current Position

Complete – business as usual

A National Response to Improving Mathematics in Scotland, led by Education Scotland, ADES and the Scottish Government Curriculum Unit has been established to build on the work of the Making Maths Count National Profile Raising Group for Mathematics. To drive this work, a new Partnership Board was established that brings together improvement leads from all regional improvement collaboratives, along with input from initial teacher education representatives, and a representative to promote parental engagement. This is designed to build on progress in the implementation of the recommendations of the Making Maths Count report by allowing a renewed focus on improving the learning and teaching of maths and numeracy. The national thematic inspection report ‘Multiplying Skills, Adding Value’, published in December 2019, highlights what is working well and where the system requires additional support and improvement. Through Education Scotland’s Regional Improvement function, the enhanced numeracy and mathematics team continues to work with partners at regional and local level to provide direct and tailored support to locally identified improvement priorities in the areas of numeracy, mathematics and STEM, with the core aim of closing the poverty related attainment gap. The annual Maths Week Scotland, established in 2017, continues to promote and celebrate maths. Its reach is expanding annually with children and young people in every local authority area in Scotland participating. Maths Week Scotland was successfully delivered digitally in 2021 for the second year running.

Action - AC25

We will drive forward the actions in our new Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy throughout 2017, with a view to delivering the Strategy’s vision of using technology to improve attainment across the Curriculum in the next 3-5 years.

Current Position

Complete – business as usual

The pandemic and subsequent lockdown has sparked a huge increase in uptake of digital learning across all Scotland’s education settings. Glow user numbers and usage has increased dramatically as has the national support on offer to support teachers, learners and parents to adapt to the current context.

We are developing a refreshed vision for digital learning and teaching in light of what was achieved during the pandemic and the subsequent commitment to ensure every child has access to a devices and connectivity.

Action - AC32

We will continue to provide, through the Developing the Young Workforce programme, more opportunities for young people to experience high quality, work-related learning, and to gain vocational qualifications. We will increase the percentage of school leavers attaining vocational qualifications at SCQF level 5 and above year-on-year to 2020/21.

Current Position

Ongoing

The Scottish Government has committed to college provision for school pupils, including Foundation Apprenticeships. One of the Key Performance Indicators (KPI3) for Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) was to increase the percentage of school leavers attaining vocational qualifications at SCQF level 5 and above by 2021. Data published in February 2021 showed 22.5% of 2019/20 school leavers attained 1+ award at SCQF 5 or better, this is an increase of 15.2 percentage points since the baseline in 2013/14.

Since the two pathfinder years, Foundation Apprenticeship starts increased from 346 in 2016, to 1,244 in 2017 (239 schools, all local authorities and all 13 college regions), to 1,532 in 2018 (across 272 schools) and 3,445 in 2019 (across 325 schools). The most recent FA Progress Report was published on 1 July 2021. As of 1 October 2019, Foundation Apprenticeships at SCQF Level 6 are a recognised entry requirement by UK’s university admission service (UCAS) for learners in Scotland applying to university. The COVID-19 pandemic created a challenge, but also an opportunity to enhance the FA design. SDS have worked with SQA, FA lead providers and stakeholders to ensure the viability of FAs delivery for 2020/21 and beyond. Adaptions to increase flexibility into the system have already been introduced. On 15 September 2021, College Development Network (CDN) published a new school college partnership research report, Co-Creating the Learner Journey, School-College Partnerships and Effective Skills Pathways. The research, commissioned by the Curriculum and Assessment Board (CAB), identifies ten key characteristics of a successful school college partnership and makes nine recommendations.

Action - AC39

Making clear our expectations of the SQA, including the importance of listening and being open to the voices of learners, teachers and parents. We will ensure that the Chair regularly reports to Ministers on the improvements being made in relation to these matters. We will request that SQA outline in their annual corporate plan their strategic communications and engagement plans.

Current Position

Complete

SQA’s Corporate Plan for 2020-23, sets out the strategic direction up to 2023 for the next three years. A key element of the Corporate Plan is SQA’s engagement with customers, stakeholders and staff around SQA’s priorities and ways to improve the development and delivery of qualifications and services. One of the five outcomes set out in SQA’s Corporate Plan is ‘We are flexible in meeting customer needs’ with the need for good two-way engagement with customers. Taking this forward SQA will continue to work with stakeholders, including learners, teachers and parents, to support the development and delivery of its services. The Scottish Government engages regularly with SQA with meetings between officials, Ministers and the Chief Executive and Chair of SQA. The Ministerial appointed Advisory Council reports annually to Scottish Ministers.

Action - AC43

We will ensure that by 2030, students from the 20 per cent most deprived areas make up 20 per cent of higher education entrants.

Current Position

Ongoing

Implementation of the recommendations of the Commission on Widening Access is being overseen by the Access Delivery Group, which is chaired by the Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training. The Scottish Funding Council’s University Outcome Agreement guidance has been updated to reflect the Government’s targets for progress. HESA stats show 16.4% of Scottish domiciled full time first degree entrants to Scottish HEIs are from the 20% most deprived areas in Scotland in 2019/20. The statistics show we have met the key CoWA target to have 16% of students from the most deprived areas of Scotland by 2021.

Action - AC48

We will be working collaboratively with partners across the education sector to actively explore what more we can do to encourage uptake of ELC /Further Education/Higher Education for the Gypsy/Traveller community

Current Position

Ongoing

As part of our action outlined in the Improving the Lives of Scotland’s Gypsy/Travellers 2019-2021 (which is now running until October 2022) to explore barriers to Gypsy/Traveller uptake of early learning and childcare, with a view to increasing uptake of the enhanced funded entitlement of 1140 hours, grant funding has been agreed to support a programme of work STEP are undertaking, to develop and distribute Home Starter Kits to every Gypsy/Traveller family in Scotland with a child under 8. The kits will contain the kinds of materials used in ELC settings to support creative and child-centred play. Content will include culturally-relevant books and images, puppets and masks for role play, a range of art and craft materials and loose parts. A central aim is that children will supplement the contents with objects of interest from the natural world. Each kit will also contain Starter Cards with QR codes linking to a section of the STEP website offering dedicated activity starter suggestions. Through a range of visual and video formats parents and carers will find ideas for setting up, organising and supporting their children’s play. A key aim of the programme is to increase Gypsy/Traveller engagement with ELC by raising awareness of the benefits of play as well as making connections between families and practitioners.

Action - AC53

We have also committed to recruiting an additional 250 school nurses by 2022.

Current Position

Ongoing

The Scottish Government has been working with Scotland’s Health Boards to ensure progress towards our target of 250 additional school nurses in training or in post by 2022. The first cohort of additional school nurses began training in the 2019/20 academic year and the number of new trainees for the 2021/22 academic year was agreed with Health Boards in October 2021. A further cohort of additional school nurses will also begin training in the 2022/23 academic year.

Action - AC57

Following the publication of the national strategy for school libraries in September 2018, an implementation group has been established. This group will begin implementation of the 20 action points in the strategy which are designed to support the improvement in literacy and numeracy, boost attainment across the curriculum, support health and wellbeing, foster inclusion, and enable opportunities for family learning. The group will meet 4 times in 2019, and the strategy will be implemented over the next five years.

Current Position

Ongoing

Progress continues against the objectives of the school library strategy. The School Library Improvement Fund selection panel met in October 2021 and successful projects will be announced shortly. This round of funding is focused on race equality and anti-racism, aligning with wider Learning Directorate and SG priorities. Training on race equality for school librarians was carried out in June with a view to increasing engagement with the application process. During COVID-19, School Library Improvement Fund project managers have shown resilience by adapting projects to fit with the emphasis on pupils resilience in returning to school following periods of blended and exclusive home learning. School Librarians have supported pupils and the wider school community by teaching via virtual library classes, promoting resources, writing on social media/blogs on reading for pleasure, using library websites to engage pupils with quizzes, book groups, newsletters, creative writing, book reviews, recommended reads and websites.

Action - AC58

The Scottish Government will publish guidance for all early learning and childcare providers in December 2018 on how to access local outdoor space and how to set up an outdoor nursery experience. We have provided £860,000 of funding to Inspiring Scotland to work with eight local authorities to increase and improve their outdoor learning, which will include the establishment of two outdoor nurseries.

Current Position

Complete

Out to Play; practical guidance for creating outdoor play experiences in early learning and childcare (https://www2.gov.scot/Resource/0054/00544754.pdf) was published on 21st Dec 2018. Hard copies of Out to Play have been distributed to all registered ELC and out of school care settings. Education Scotland are creating a page on the NIH to support this. Demand for the document from individual practitioners has been high, with very positive feedback, and so we are about to enter a second print run. Inspiring Scotland continue to work with the 8 local authorities with progress being reported quarterly and have agreed to widen their support to a number of additional local authorities. As of March 2021, we have published 3 new additional chapters of the Out to Play guidance document. These chapters provide specific support to childminders, out of school care settings and practitioners working with ASN around outdoor play and learning in ELC.

Action - AC61

A P1 practitioner forum has been established, led by Professor Sue Ellis. The forum is a place for engagement and discussion on the issues facing standardised assessments in a play based early years curriculum. It will provide insight and practical advice to teachers, schools and Scottish Government by May 2019. based early years curriculum. It will provide insight and practical advice.

Current Position

Complete

The P1 Practitioner Forum produced a detailed report in May 2019, making recommendations for improvements to SNSA operations, particularly at the P1 stage. Key recommendations were accepted and informed aspects of the SNSA improvement activity plan. For example, the P1 literacy assessment was shortened in length and the eBook question type was removed from use from August 2021; improved, practical advice and guidance has been made available in training materials, including through the creation of a specific course (SNSA Course 1 for P1); and the SNSA item descriptors have been amended to improve clarity.

Although the original intention had been for the P1 Practitioner Forum to continue through the 19/20 academic year, initial weather disruption, followed by the pressures and restrictions placed on practitioners as a result of COVID-19 have combined to result in the last meeting of the Forum taking place in October 2019. We are now working towards the development and introduction of phase two of the national standardised assessments for Scotland, comprising a combined assessment platform for the SNSA and their Gaelic medium equivalent, the MCNG. We will ensure that P1 practitioners are represented on the User Assurance Group supporting that development work. User trialling of the new platform will include a particular focus on the user experience of assessments for P1 learners and practitioners.

Action - AC71

The latest BISSR project is currently out to tender. It is anticipated that it will report towards the end of 2020 / early 2021.

Current Position

Ongoing

BISSR fieldwork could not take place as planned in March 2021 due to COVID restrictions in place in schools and their impact on survey reference periods. Scottish Advisory Group on Relationships and Behaviour in Schools is considering plans for the survey being undertaken in 2022.

Action - AC72

Improve communications and engagement on national standardised assessment in Scotland and clarify key messages.

Current Position

Ongoing

Published in August 2019, and widely shared with local authorities and key stakeholders, the National standardised assessments: purpose and use document provides clear guidance on the intended use by local authorities, headteachers and practitioners of national standardised assessments.

Work with stakeholders on the development of a communications strategy on national standardised assessments was put on hold in March 2020 as a result of COVID-19. As we have now entered the development stage of phase two of the national standardised assessments – comprising a combined assessment platform for the SNSAs and their Gaelic Medium equivalent, the MCNGs – we will assess the ongoing need for a communications strategy as part of our wider work with User Assurance Groups, to be established at the beginning of January 2022, and in discussion with original Communications Strategy Group members.

Action - AC77

Continue to work with partners to enhance the Gaelic medium standardised assessments.

Current Position

Ongoing

Following their successful introduction to the Gaelic Medium Education sector in December 2018, the first phase of delivery of the Measaidhean Coitcheann Nàiseanta airson Foghlam tron Ghàidhlig (MCNG) drew to a close on 31st July 2021. A new contract has been awarded to develop a combined assessment platform for the MCNG and the Scottish National Standardised Assessments (SNSA), while retaining distinct assessment content for each.

After careful consideration and analysis of assessment completion patterns to date we have decided, for the 2021/22 school year only, to allow for a short pause in service for the MCNG, following the cessation of the current service delivery contract in July. Phase two of MCNG delivery will be rolled out in the first half of 2022.

By commencing phase two of the MCNG during the 2021/22 school year, rather than August 2022 as will be the case for the SNSA, work to standardise the MCNG assessments can begin more quickly, with a view to adopting the same adaptive and psychometric models as those applied to phase two of the SNSA. This will enable us to achieve greater consistency, and a more comparable assessment product within the GME sector at the earliest opportunity.

During the pause in availability of the MCNG next school session, we will engage with the GME sector as widely as possible, to trial and user test the new assessment platform, and to obtain views on options for progressing standardisation at a pace and intensity which delivers greatest value to end users.

Action - AC78

Revisit the 2014 review of the SSLN to assess the comparative burden and costs of conducting the SSLN and the Achievement of Curriculum for Excellence Levels data collection.

Current Position

Ongoing

This was delayed in 2020 and 2021 as a result of COVID-19. Consideration of a sample-based survey will be taken forward by a sub-group of the Curriculum and Assessment Board in the first half of 2022, as part of the Scottish Government’s work to implement the recommendations from the OECD report.

Action - AC79

Work with key partners to assess and enhance the value of the national standardised assessments.

Current Position

Ongoing

Our regular plans for user consultation on the assessments were necessarily curtailed by COVID-19 and associated pressures placed on schools and practitioners. Two user assurance groups – one for educational matters and the other for accessibility matters – will be re-established at the beginning of 2022. These groups will support the ongoing development of phase two of the national standardised assessments, comprising a combined online platform for the SNSA and the MCNG. Schools and practitioners will be invited to participate in wider user trialling and consultation on aspects of the developing phase two services as the immediate pressures of managing COVID-19 through the winter subside.

Action - AC80

The government has commissioned an independent review of our Senior Phase. The purpose of the review will be to explore further how Curriculum for Excellence is being implemented for young people in S4-S6 across the country, and to identify any improvements that might be made.

Current Position

Ongoing

The OECD Independent Review of Curriculum for Excellence looked at the Senior Phase curriculum and the Broad General Education (BGE) and the articulation between the two. In August 2020 the Deputy First Minister asked the OECD to extend the remit of the Review to have a deeper focus on the future of student assessment and qualifications approaches in the Senior Phase curriculum in Scotland, based on best practice globally.

The OECD published their review of CfE on 21 June and the Cabinet Secretary announced that the SG accepted all of its recommendations and published its response. Initial action outlined by the Cabinet Secretary on 21 June was the reform of national agencies (led by Professor Ken Muir) .

The OECD's comparative working paper on qualifications and assessment was published at the end of August 2021.

The SG published an implementation framework on 27 October setting out how the OECD recommendations will be taken forwards.

Action - AC85

Developing resources and support for schools to address gender based violence and sexual harassment.

Current Position

Ongoing

Liaison with Zero Tolerance Scotland and Rape Crisis Scotland has identified key actions being delivered in the Equally Safe in Schools Programme which will inform development of resources in this workstream. Work to deliver Action AC89 will also deliver this commitment. It has been confirmed that wider work beyond guidance is not required.

Action - AC86

Developing updated guidance on Healthy Eating in Schools – to mirror the updated regulations on food and drink in schools.

Current Position

Complete

The guidance was published in February 2021 - https://www.gov.scot/publications/healthy-eating-schools-guidance-2020/

Action - AC87

Developing a new mental health first aid training resource for all school staff.

Current Position

Superseded

This has been replaced by Action AC90.

Action - AC88

The Learning for Sustainability (LfS) self-assessment tool provided by the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) supports credit rating bodies (CRBs) to identify their awards and qualifications as LfS-relevant. The Scottish Government will work with the SCQF to monitor the number of LfS-relevant awards as more credit rating bodies periodically review their offerings. This information will allow the Scottish Government to monitor associated enrolment and attainment and ultimately the prevalence of LfS in the senior phase of the curriculum.

Current Position

Ongoing

Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) completed the Scottish Government-funded Work Package 1 in early 2020. This centred around further development of the SCQF database to highlight Learning for Sustainabilty (LfS) programmes and ensure that learners and providers understood the full range of LfS programmes that are recognised on the SCQF.

It allows Credit Rating Bodies (CRBs) and Programme Owners to identify, through tagging, where qualifications/programmes on the SCQF have a focus on, or include, sustainability content/themes and for the SCQF Partnership to produce reports from the SCQF database for interested parties.

CRBs were issued with criteria for LfS and a self-assessment form which provided further explanation of the criteria and were asked to tag any new programmes being placed on the database at SCQF level 7 or below.

In September 2021, the Scottish Government awarded funding for Work Package 2 which is now in progress and due for completion by spring 2022. This package will identify other learning programmes delivered to young people that fall under the sustainability theme but that are not currently recognised on the SCQF. The research will identify the most popular programmes delivered both in and outside school and also identify any potential barriers to having these recognised on the Framework.

Action - AC89

The Scottish Government has formed a Gender Based Violence in Schools working group to take forward specific actions to support children and young people in light of the reports. The working group will produce guidance for schools by January 2022.

Current Position

Ongoing

Linked to Action AC85. The work of the Gender Based Violence in Schools Group was paused as a result of COVID-19. However, work has been undertaken to consider the workplan of the group in light of the Everyone’s Invited publication. It has been agreed that the work of the group should continue as planned, and that links to wider work being undertaken to address Harmful Sexual Behaviour will be made in order to ensure a comprehensive approach to tackling this issue. The group has resumed its work and will produce guidance during 2022.

Action - AC90

The Scottish Government has commissioned a contractor to develop a new online mental health professional learning resource for all school staff. The aim of the resource is to provide foundation knowledge to all school staff to support children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing. The resource will also provide signposting to specialist services that can support children and young people. This will be available by Spring 2021.

Current Position

Complete

The work to provide this new resource was slightly delayed by the impact of COVID-19. However, the new online professional learning resource for all school staff to support children and young people's mental health and wellbeing was developed during November 2020 - April 2021, it was made available to practitioners in mid-June 2021 ahead of the return to school in August 2021. It is available from: CYPMH – Professional Learning Resource

Action - AC91

The Scottish Government’s Blueprint for 2020 Quality Action Plan identified the need for professional learning modules across a range of topics to support the expansion of high quality Early Learning and Childcare (ELC). These included curriculum rationale and monitoring and tracking. Education Scotland will develop professional learning to support improvement in curriculum rationale and monitoring and tracking in the ELC sector during the recovery phase and beyond.

Current Position

Complete

Content for two professional learning modules to support high quality provision in early learning and childcare will be delivered by the end of December 2021 for subsequent publication by the University of West Scotland. The modules address previously identified needs within the early learning and childcare sector and take account of the global pandemic and its impact on children and their families. The modules will complement and extend the existing range of high quality online professional learning for the early learning and childcare workforce published on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Action - AC92

To support young peoples’ progression into positive destinations, national and regional work is taking place in Education Scotland to assess and develop the delivery of work-related and work-based learning e.g. virtual work placement experience for learners in the current context of COVID-19. Collectively, we aim to develop mechanisms to support the delivery of work based learning experiences (e.g. virtual work placements) through e.g. the development of an online support offer.

Current Position

Complete

The Virtual Work Placement (VWP) Guidelines were completed in March 2021 and the SQA Virtual Work Placement Unit SCQF Levels 3-6 completed in May 2021. Collaboration between national partners has resulted in the completion of SCQF Level 3 - 5 support materials for the Virtual Work Placement qualifications. SQA have added VWP to a number of group awards that contained a work placements unit.

The Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Live programme began in January 2021 as part of the overall National eLearning Offer and continues to provide a range of offers for children and young people to support their work related learning.

Action - AC93

The review of the implementation of additional support for learning (ASL) made recommendations about how to enhance the educational experiences of children and young people with additional support needs. This includes ensuring that the achievements and successes of children and young people are fully recognised and celebrated. A national measurement framework for additional support for learning (ASL) will be developed by 31 October 2021.

Current Position

Ongoing

Despite the impact of COVID-19, ASLIG have made significant progress to develop a national measurement framework to capture the wider set of data which will be used to measure and support improvement. It is now anticipated that the framework will be published by Spring 2022. The framework will allow outcomes and achievements of all children and young people to be captured and celebrated nationally through the development of an annual report.. The framework has been informed by the vision statement for success, developed by the Young Ambassadors for Inclusion, published on 5 August 2021.

Action - AC94

The Scottish Government will monitor progress made against the actions from the ASL Review by 31 October 2021. The Scottish Government continue to monitor this progress. An updated action plan will be published by Spring 2022.

Current Position

Ongoing

A joint Scottish Government and COSLA progress report and an updated action plan were published on 1 November 2021. These set out the significant progress that has been made against the ASL Action Plan.

The SG are working closely with partners to review the current action plan and agree the priorities for the future. An updated action plan will be published in Spring 2022. Alongside this, the SG and COSLA continue to work with partners to deliver the measures set out in the ASL Action Plan to ensure that we address the recommendations from the ASL Review.

Action - AC95

The Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland’s 2018 No Safe Place report, and evidence gathered during the Scottish Government’s engagement with local authorities in 2019, highlighted inconsistencies in the definitions of restraint and seclusion used in local policy and practice and the lack of a standard dataset for recording incidents. In 2020, a Physical Intervention Working Group was established to take forward improvements in this area by:

a) Developing new national human-rights based guidance on physical intervention, which includes national definitions, by 2021. b) Developing and implementing a new national dataset for the recording and monitoring of incidents.

c) Reviewing the restraint and seclusion data collected by local authorities as part of a one year review following publication of the guidance, to assess the guidance’s success.

Current Position

Ongoing

a) National definitions were agreed by the working group in July 2020. The Scottish Government have worked closely with a wider range of key partners to draft national human rights based guidance on physical intervention will be put out for public consultation by the end of 2021.

b) The recording and monitoring sub group convened in May 2021 and has agreed a draft national dataset. Feedback will be sought through the public consultation on the draft guidance. The guidance is due for consultation by the end of 2021.

c) Action dependent on publication date of the new guidance and the development of the standard dataset to assess progress. Draft guidance is being prepared for public consultation in by the end of 2021. This includes a draft standard dataset. Following consultation feedback, the final guidance will be published in 2022.

Action - AC96

Cancellation of the National 5 exams in 2021 was announced on 7 October 2020, and the cancellation of Higher and Advanced Higher exams was outlined on 8 December. SQA has set up a National Qualifications 2021 Group including representatives from ADES, the EIS, SLS, SCIS, Colleges Scotland, Education Scotland and NPFS to develop and disseminate subject specific guidance for National 5 courses, and this model will form the basis of the arrangements for Higher and Advanced Higher. SQA has also established a learner panel to inform this group to ensure that learner’s voices are heard.

Current Position

Complete

The alternative certification model for National 5, co-produced by the NQ 21 Group was published on 8 Dec 2020, and it was confirmed that a similar approach would be applied to the Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications. A revised Alternative Certification Model was confirmed by the NQ 2021 Group on 16 February 2021 to take into account the period of remote learning. The NQ 21 Group monitored and oversaw implementation of the model that was based on teacher judgement of evidence of learner attainment, supported by SQA understanding standards and local quality assurance processes.

Following consultation and wider stakeholder engagement, SQA published details of the 2021 appeals service on 2 June 2021. In addition, a limited contingency arrangement was agreed for learners who had experienced significant disruption, and were unable to generate the necessary assessments by 25 June, to provide evidence by the later date of 3 September 21.

Exam Results were published on 10 August 2021, and the appeals service closed for registrations on 27 August 2021.

Action - AC97

Scottish Government has asked the OECD to extend the scope of the review of the curriculum to include a desk based comparative analysis looking at different countries’ approaches to assessment of school level qualifications; and a session(s) with stakeholders to seek views on their findings and recommendations.

Current Position

Complete

The OECD report on Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence was published on 21 June. Professor Stobart’s working paper “Upper-Secondary Education Student Assessment in Scotland: A Comparative Perspective” was published on 27 August. The Scottish Government published an implementation framework setting out how it would respond to these reports on 27 October. https://www.gov.scot/publications/scotlands-curriculum-future-implementation-framework-oecds-2021-review-curriculum-excellence/pages/8/

Action - AC98

SQA is developing a Learner Engagement Strategy with a focus on strengthening existing links with young people and organisations representing their interests, including the Scottish Youth Parliament and Young Scot.

Current Position

Ongoing

SQA continue to provide support and resources on their dedicated learner web pages. They are engaging with national bodies, such as Young Scot, the Scottish Youth Parliament, and the Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland to share information on what is happening and when, as well as seeking inputs to ongoing developments through their recently created learner panel. In addition, two young people have joined and participate in SQAs Qualifications Committee, which gives technical, strategic and policy advice regarding SQA qualifications to their Board. They are continuing to keep the effectiveness of communications and engagement under close review.

Action - AC99

SQA is setting up a group to consider the qualification appeals process and the implications for it from UNCRC. This work will be overseen by the National Qualifications 2021 Group and will include broader stakeholder engagement.

Current Position

Complete

SQA consulted on options around the 2021 appeals process taking into account the Priestley Review Recommendations and UNCRC, and engaged with stakeholders including learners and the Children’s Commissioner. Final details of the appeals process were published in June 2021 and included a direct right of appeal for candidates. The deadline for submission of 2021 appeals was 27 August 2021.

Action - AC100

The need for independent research into the development and application of the 2020 ACM will be considered as part of the Scottish Government’s research strategy.

Current Position

Closed

There are no current plans to undertake this research as an algorithm is not being used as part of the Alternative Certification Model for awarding results in 2021 or beyond.

Action - AC101

SQA to consider the recommendation on the operational processes for gathering candidate evidence for appeals as part of their digital strategy.

Current Position

Paused

This will be considered following the outcome of the Professor Muir review, and alongside the qualifications reform work.

Action - AC102

Education Scotland will deliver online professional learning to support learning, teaching and assessment, moderation and the Quality Assurance and Moderation Support Officers (QAMSO) programme to practitioners, schools, local authorities, RICs and nationally during the academic session 2020-21. Support will be provided to all levels of the system (including Gaelic Medium Education.)

Current Position

Complete

NIF Officers have delivered the QAMSO programme across all RICs. A series of national professional learning sessions were delivered to practitioners focusing on aspects of learning, teaching and assessment: High Quality Assessment - literacy (Monday 1st November), Differentiation (Monday 8th November), High Quality Assessment – Numeracy (Monday 15th November), Formative Assessment (Monday 6th December) and Learning, Teaching and Assessment Cycle (Monday 13th December).

Current Position

School improvement

Action - SI11

We are also exploring options through UK legislation to enable the sharing of data by DWP and HMRC to allow local authorities to identify eligible families. This should assist with increasing registrations of ELC for 2 year olds.

Ongoing

The Scottish Government is continuing to work with the UK Government to establish a data sharing gateway that will provide local authorities with access to information on eligible households in their area. This is subject to UK Government and UK Parliament timescales.

Action - SI28

Developing an approach to funding that truly empowers schools, and provides the framework of support which schools need, based on the outcome of the consultation.

Current Position

Ongoing

New revised Devolved School Management guidance, co-produced with local government, was published in June 2019. Local authorities worked to implement this guidance, requiring them to prepare revised Devolved School Management Schemes for their own authority. These new Schemes were then due to be in place by April 2021.

Although all local authorities had made good progress, with some publishing new schemes, some experienced COVID-19 related challenges in progressing reviews. In partnership with ADES Resources and COSLA, updated information was gathered from local authorities to assess whether an extension to the April 2021 deadline could be considered. In November 2020, Ministers pushed back the deadline to April 2022, allowing time for the local authorities to carry out partnership processes effectively and within an achievable timeframe, and lessening pressure on local authorities and headteachers.

Action - SI29

Around a quarter of 2 year olds are now eligible for funded ELC through the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 and through subsequent secondary legislation which commenced in August 2015. There is now a dedicated national project on the 2 year old offer within the Scottish Government expansion programme to provide support to local authorities and make links across the programme. The programme will last up to, and beyond, August 2020. We aim to improve uptake by ensuring the 2 year old offer is appropriate and appealing for eligible children and their families.

Current Position

Ongoing

Work to promote awareness and increase uptake of the 2 year old offer is progressing. We are continuing to work with UK Government to establish a data sharing gateway that will provide local authorities with access to information on eligible households in their area. The programme will last up to, and beyond, August 2021, as the implementation date was delayed from August 2020 by a year.

  • We are supporting delivery of the 2019 PfG commitment to extend eligibility for 2 year olds who have a care experienced parent from August 2021. We are doing this through the creation of a joint project group with local authorities and Who Cares? Scotland.
  • We are exploring options for more flexibility for the 2 year old offer, to enhance family wellbeing and remove some of cultural barriers to uptake.
  • We are also continuing to align work on the Equity and Excellence Leads posts and Family Learning Scotland Programme to enhance the support for children and families accessing the 2 year old offer

Action - SI31

Implement the Early Learning and Childcare Quality Action Plan

Current Position

Complete

All 15 actions in the ELC Quality Action Plan have now been delivered.

Action - SI63

Working in partnership with local government, Regional Improvement Collaboratives and Education Scotland, ensure that our education empowerment reforms strengthen and support collaborative working across the system. This includes extending the reach, accessibility and impact of collaborative working across school, local, regional and national levels. These reforms are vital to strengthening Scotland’s Curriculum through teachers and headteachers being empowered and supported to collaborate and share innovation and best practice in implementing the curriculum for their learners.

Current Position

Ongoing

Regional Improvement Collaboratives re-prioritised their work programme to directly support schools and staff dealing with the impacts of COVID-19. This included enhanced support for virtual learning platforms and professional learning networks, and redeploying staff to support front-line remote learning activities. Regional C-19 recovery plans were also reviewed with ES in Spring 2021. SG, ES, COSLA and RICs are undertaking joint work on proposals for the further development, planning and sustainability of RICS, taking account of the recommendations of Audit Scotland, the OECD and the RIC review. A joint SG/ES/RIC planning event - which considered the findings of recent reports, including from Audit Scotland and the OECD, took place on 31 Aug / 01 Sep, to support the co-production of policy proposals for the further development and sustainability of the RICs. Timeline for this work has been revised to Spring/Summer 2022 in line with the wider reform of the national bodies, as the RIC relationship with Education Scotland is a critical element of RIC futures and governance.

Action - SI64

Alongside COSLA we are currently in the process of commissioning external research into the establishment, reach and impact of Regional Improvement Collaboratives. This follows an interim review of RICs published in February 2019 and is scheduled to report by June 2020. Findings will be used to take steps to further embed regional collaboration and the support available to schools

Current Position

Ongoing

Research Scotland has undertaken a second review of Scotland’s 6 RICs. This review was initially commissioned in 2020 and was paused during the initial phase of the pandemic. It recommenced in spring 2021 and has now delivered its report to the Scottish Government and COSLA. This review focused on the themes of: RIC structures and governance; collaboration and partnership working; engagement with and support for schools; planning and evaluation; use of data; and support and guidance. Ahead of its resumption, the review framework was also updated to explore the use of digital and virtual approaches across all six areas of focus and sought examples of where and how each RIC area re-aligned its focus to the changing needs and challenges presented by the pandemic.

The Review Report will be published shortly and its findings will inform the further development and operation of the RICs.

Action - SI67

Scottish Government will work with partners to implement the 16 recommendations from the Review of Personal and Social Education (published Jan 2019) during the course of 2019. This will include the establishment of a senior phase Personal and Social Education Mentoring Programme to coach and enable pupils to design and deliver aspects of health and wellbeing / personal and social education whilst working towards an award.

Current Position

Ongoing

The PSE Delivery and Implementation Group agreed on a Sub Group structure to take forward the remaining recommendations of the PSE Review. The Sub Groups, consisting of Initial Teacher Education and Career Long Professional Learning; Pupil and Parental Engagement; and, Raising the Profile, will join the existing PSE Lead Officer Network in taking forward specific recommendations of the review. Work to take these recommendations forward has been delayed due to COVID-19. The Sub Groups will set out their plans and timeframe for delivery in early 2022.

Action - SI69

A review will be undertaken of Foundation Apprenticeships, with an evaluation of the Developing the Young Workforce programme as a whole reporting after the conclusion of the programme in 2021.

Current Position

Ongoing

The Scottish Government and its agencies are fully committed to provide ongoing support to achieve the system change necessary to embed Foundation Apprenticeships in the senior phase curriculum and have commissioned Education Scotland to undertake a Review of the Programme. The FA Review is concentrated on two key principles: ensuring that support is appropriately targeted and efficient; and that opportunities are aimed at the right level and add value to the wider senior phase offer. The desk based analysis and strategic discussions have been completed - however, as a result of COVID-pandemic, school/college/learner fieldwork will be undertaken once there is less strain on the system. It is hoped that the final part of the evaluation will be completed by the end of the calendar year, with the full report still published in Spring 2022. The DYW Evaluation is expected to report end May 2022.

Action - SI70

Education Scotland will take forward a Communication and Engagement plan for the Refreshed Narrative on Scotland’s Curriculum. They will work with partners across the education system to ensure that teachers can engage with its principles as part of their curriculum development activity.

Current Position

Complete

This task was started before COVID-19 with a Curriculum and Assessment Board (CAB) sub-group and suspended in March 2020. Since then, the OECD published its report “Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence: Into the Future” (June 2021) with a recommendation (2.3) focused on developing a Communications Strategy. This work will be recast in 2022 as part of the follow on Implementation plan. In the meantime Education Scotland continues to work with partners to support practitioner engagement with the Refreshed Narrative.

Action - SI72

During 2020, the Scottish Government will involve children and young people in the development of a learner focused guide to Scotland’s Curriculum to accompany the Refreshed Narrative for practitioners. This work will incorporate the key thinking points from the Learner Panel report on subject choices, assessment and personalised guidance.

Current Position

Complete

This action was put on hold due to COVID-19. In the interim, the OECD published its report “Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence: Into the Future” (June 2021). In turn, the Scottish Government published its implementation framework for curriculum reform (October 2021), which itself includes a number of actions relating to the vision and the communication strategy for Curriculum for Excellence.

In light of these further developments, the commitment to develop a learner focused guide to CfE has been closed. In its place, the Scottish Government will ensure that the voices of children and young people are gathered as part of the implementation framework for curriculum reform and as part of SI81 below to “develop a comprehensive and strategic approach to ensure that children and young people’s voice is taken fully into account in education policy development and decision-making.”

Action - SI73

During 2020, Education Scotland will ensure that ES officers in regional improvement teams are aware of the key benefits of outdoor learning and its importance within the curriculum.

Current Position

Complete

Education Scotland's STEM Team ran 10 online webinars on outdoor learning between Aug 2020 and Nov 2020 to provide professional learning for practitioners and build capacity for outdoor learning across a wide range of curriculum areas. This was run in collaboration with a wide range of colleagues from regional improvement teams. Eight of these sessions are currently available to access from the ES' YouTube channel and have been viewed over 7,500 times: https://education.gov.scot/improvement/learning-resources/a-summary-of-outdoor-learning-resources/

Action - SI74

In academic year 2021/22 Tutor Assessors delivering the Young STEM Leader programme will deliver up to 49,000 hours of leadership training to a minimum of 7,000 young people engaged in this SCQF accredited awards programme.

Current Position

Complete

This action is now amalgamated with TP34 and the progress update can be found under that action.

Action - SI75

During 2020, learner voice and participation will continue to form a key aspect within the School Empowerment reforms. Scottish Government and Education Scotland will raise awareness of new guidance on Learner Empowerment and will work with learners to develop further support materials on learner empowerment during the course of 2020.

Current Position

Complete

All sections of the Empowered System guidance, which included the Learners section, were published as agreed drafts by October 2019. Feedback was invited with a focused period of engagement in place from January to March 2020. There had been limited response to the engagement prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. The feedback mechanism remained open until June 2020.

The agreed draft guidance remains available from the Education Scotland empowered system web page at: https://education.gov.scot/improvement/learning-resources/an-empowered-system

Action - SI76

During 2020, the Scottish Government will continue to support the Scottish Learner Panel, ensuring that pupils can contribute to policy development.

Current Position

Complete

The final report from the Scottish Learner Panel was published in 2019.

During 2020/21, the Scottish Government funded the Education Recovery Youth Panel, which superseded the Learner Panel and met up to July 2021, and had a primary focus on COVID-19 education recovery. The Panel was made up of 28 children and young people, ages 9 to 18. Young Scot supported the panel to meet on a monthly basis, feeding directly in to the COVID-19 Education Recovery Group (CERG). The Education Recovery Youth Panel held its final meeting in July 2021 and a final report in due in late 2021. In addition, a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament will continue to attend meetings of CERG and also has a seat on the Scottish Education Council. We are working with stakeholders to look at how we further strengthen the voice of children and young people in education policy and decision making.

Action - SI77

By the end of 2020, Education Scotland will roll out the Young Leaders of Learning Programme (previously piloted in north-east Scotland) across Scotland. This will help to support more children to be involved in self-evaluation activities and reciprocal visits to other schools as part of school improvement activities in their own school.

Current Position

Complete

This programme has progressed well, with over 50 schools in the Northern Alliance progressing with the programme. Feedback is very positive, with head teachers and pupils reporting improvements in confidence, social skills, organisation and other core skills. All participating schools included actions from pupils in their school improvement plans. A launch event took place on 4th November 2021, and there are 6 local authorities in the programme. Online training is available for school staff, local authority leads and learners, and it is possible for visits to take place virtually.

Action - SI80

The National e-Learning Offer (NeLO) programme has been set up by the National e-Learning Partnership: Education Scotland, SG, ADES and eSgoil. This offer is initially bringing together the live learning option from e-Sgoil, recorded content led by the West Partnership and supported materials identified by teacher networks and led by Education Scotland. Education Scotland owns overall communications and programme management.

  • The existing national technical platforms (e.g. Glow) will be able to support this ongoing delivery. We will draw on the available evidence as we continue to adapt and improve the technical options available for remote learning throughout 2021.
  • Schools will be able to use the national e-learning offer to complement and enhance e-learning support available locally and within the local authority and RIC to ensure pupils’ education is not interrupted by impacts of the current pandemic.
  • Individual teachers will be able to access a wide range of resources to use in their own delivery of e-learning.
  • We will develop new e-learning partnerships in response to needs identified via RIC partners.
  • Work will progress to establish how schools will be able to use the national e-learning offer after the pandemic.

Work is underway to ensure schools will be able to use the national e-learning offer after the pandemic to support greater curriculum innovation across the BGE and senior phase. This work will build on the recognition by practitioners, schools, local authorities and learners of the significant potential benefits of e-learning and digital platforms for future improvements to education provision and experiences.

Current Position

Complete – business as usual

The NeLO programme was in place by September 2020 with all component parts – live, recorded, supported – under development. Live teaching and learning (provided by e-Sgoil) was in place from September 2020 as well as access to supported resources. Recorded resources (located on WestOS) were available to all local authorities by February 2021. All requests for support from individuals, schools and local authorities during the different phases of the pandemic in session 2020/21 were met.

The NeLO programme continues to be developed in session 21/22 to support the needs of learners and the system and to showcase curriculum innovation and digital practice.

Action - SI81

The incorporation of the UNCRC and the experience of children and young people during COVID-19 reinforces the importance of gathering and sharing children and young people’s views with decision-makers at every level – school, local and national – and following up to ensure that those views are taken into account. We will take forward a range of further actions to ensure that this is done during 2021.

Current Position

Ongoing

As stated in SI76, the Scottish Government funded the Education Recovery Youth Panel which met up to July 2021, and had a primary focus on COVID-19 education recovery. The Education Recovery Youth Panel held its final meeting in July 2021 and a final report is due in late 2021. A Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament joined the COVID-19 Education Recovery Group in October 2020, and continues to attend CERG as the young person representative on the group. In October 2021, an MSYP rep joined as a formal member of the reconstituted Scottish Education Council. Also in 2021, two experts on children’s rights from the Children’s Parliament and Together joined the Scottish Education Council. Scottish Government liaised with these organisations and the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) as part of their work to develop toolkits and an online survey in relation to Professor Muir’s consultation on education reform.

Scottish Government is currently working with stakeholders to develop a comprehensive and strategic approach to ensure that children and young people’s voice is taken fully into account in education policy development and decision-making.

Action - SI82

The Education Recovery Youth Panel – a follow up to the initial Scottish Learner Panel pilot - will meet between November 2020 and June 2021, supported by Young Scot and Children in Scotland. Views will be gathered from learners aged 9 – 18, every 4-6 weeks via online workshops. Learners’ views will be shared via the COVID-19 Education Recovery Group and direct to the Deputy First Minister. Recommendations will be made to the Scottish Government, ensuring that the rights and needs of young people are at the heart of education recovery.

Current Position

Complete

As above, the Scottish Government funded the Education Recovery Youth Panel which met up to July 2021, and had a primary focus on Covid-19 education recovery. The Panel was made up of 28 children and young people, ages 9 to 18. Young Scot supported the panel to meet on a monthly basis, feeding directly in to the COVID-19 Education Recovery Group. The Education Recovery Youth Panel held its final meeting in July 2021 and a final report is expected late 2021.

Action - SI83

The key findings from survey evidence on the experiences of young people during COVID-19 will be monitored closely and shared with decision-makers, including the COVID-19 Education Recovery Group. This will include but will not be limited to:

Current Position

Ongoing

Findings from a variety of surveys were noted by Scottish Government during the course of 2021, alongside the discussions and reflections of the Education Recovery Youth Panel (see SI82 above). Findings from Lockdown Lowdown have been included in the National Improvement Framework and Improvement Plan.

Key survey findings were cited in the Scottish Government’s October 2021 publication “Coronavirus (COVID-19) education recovery: key actions and next steps” - https://www.gov.scot/publications/education-recovery-key-actions-next-steps/documents/

The Scottish Government will continue to monitor findings from relevant children and young people COVID-19 surveys, and will share key findings or emerging issues with the COVID-19 Education Recovery Group, Scottish Education Council and other forums.

Action - SI84

Learners will be consulted during the OECD Independent Review of CfE.

Current Position

Complete

Learners have been engaged throughout the OECD's process, including the stakeholder webinars on both the main CfE review and the comparative work on assessment and qualifications approaches. The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that, when considering how any recommendations are implemented, learners are engaged from the outset.

Action - SI85

Education Scotland has begun to establish a database of where curriculum design expertise lies nationally, and will set up regular check-in meetings with these networks over the year. Evaluations of the programmes and engagements will help to identify next steps at all levels.

Current Position

Ongoing

Information for a database is being gathered in an internal format and consists of a wide range of information, from SCQF Ambassador schools, to information linked to recent Routes to Success webinars, as well as engagements at regional, local authority and setting level. It is anticipated that a prototype will be available for external testing by end March 2022 but this work will look to align with the Implementation Framework for the OECD 2021 Review (published October 2021). Timescales may therefore vary.

Action - SI86

HM Inspectorate will consider the NIF evidence report and identified needs of the system when devising a programme of national thematic reviews and inspection.

Current Position

Complete – business as usual

In September 2021, Education Scotland announced that HM Inspectors of Education (HMIE) would take a phased approach to resuming scrutiny activity during academic session 2021/22.

HMIE have however listened to feedback from practitioners and other stakeholders about the proposal for inspections to resume from January 2022 and are aware of the ongoing challenges faced by local authority staff, education staff, learners and communities resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and have reviewed their plans. It was therefore announced on 3 December that HMIE will not resume the routine early learning and childcare and school inspection programme as originally planned.

HMIE will continue to engage with settings and schools to carry out ‘recovery’ visits to support the education sector as it continues to respond to the impact of the current pandemic. During visits, HM Inspectors will explore the range and quality of learning children and young people are experiencing, and the work being done to meet children’s and young people’s learning and wellbeing needs.

Plans will continue to be kept under review in line with public health guidance and local circumstances related to the pandemic.

Action - SI87

Education Scotland will deliver the Learner Participation 3-18 professional learning programme as a series of twilight workshops by December 2021, which can be either face to face or remotely delivered.

Current Position

Complete

Learner Participation sessions have been delivered to learners in 2 primary schools and a secondary school during January and February 2021 - these were very well received and the approach will be used in other settings as requested There have also been sessions delivered with Newly Qualified Teachers across the Northern Alliance. Professional learning sessions and advice will now be delivered as part of a new action linked to incorporation of UNCRC.

Action - SI88

Education Scotland will deliver the Recognising and Realising children's rights professional learning to practitioners, using digital technology. This will be a series of twilight workshops to enable more practitioners to participate, and will support schools to protect and respect children's rights as set out in the Scottish Government's Bill on incorporation. A CLD version is also being developed and will be delivered alongside the school version when possible.

Current Position

Complete

There is a significant demand for the Recognising and Realising children's rights professional learning to practitioners due to the incorporation of the UNCRC, with legislation coming into force from November 2021. Sessions have been delivered internally to ES colleagues to raise awareness, and also externally - these include a series of 3 progressive sessions for practitioners across the Northern Alliance and West Partnership; sessions for Strathclyde Initial Teacher Education (ITE) students; an input to the Goodison groups and Scotland Futures Forum; session for Global Development Centres; session for ADES and Inverclyde; Early Learning Centres across Northern Alliance; three sessions across Northern Alliance; train the trainers for internal and local authority leads ( 4 sessions); a module for excellence in headship (May and September); Sessions for all GTCS staff and EiS leads and directorate support for Dundee, Angus, Perth and Kinross, Forth Valley and West Lothian RIC, Aberdeenshire and Midlothian. Bespoke sessions have also been delivered to Community Learning and Development (CLD) leads, Carers Trust and ASL practitioners in Dundee. Education Scotland is also supporting the roll out of the CLD version, with a planned series of events in Tayside from January 2022. The Lead Officer is also supporting ADES and working with ITE providers to modify their programmes. High levels of professional learning and requests for advice and support are continuing. A network of trained colleagues has been developed across Scotland to support this. A new action will take this forward.

Action - SI89

Education Scotland will restart the Young Leaders of Learning Programme once restrictions are eased to enable children to visit other schools. A national training event will also take place.

Current Position

Complete – business as usual

The programme was re-launched in November 2021, and all materials are available to support virtual as well as face to face training and visits.

Action - SI90

Education Scotland will support practitioners in curriculum and sectoral areas through national and local professional learning activities such as webinars and network meetings throughout 2021, this will include the use of digital tools to support learning. This also includes national e-learning partners.

Current Position

Complete

Education Scotland has offered support to practitioners in curriculum and sectoral areas through a range of national and local professional learning activities including webinars and network meetings. Between August 2020 and September 2021, there have been approximately 12,500 engagements in total including those to support the use of digital tools to support learning and E-learning partners.

Action - SI91

Education Scotland will continue to liaise with local authorities and the RICs to ensure the support offered at all levels of the system is meeting the needs within the current context and beyond. Education Scotland will continue to provide updates of key national messages relating to learning, teaching and assessment and moderation through appropriate forums during the academic session 2020-21.

Current Position

Complete

NIF Officers organised regular national meetings with local authority Assessment Coordinators (25/2/2021, 6/5/2021, 30/9/2021, 2/12/2021) to share relevant updates related to learning, teaching and assessment. NIF Officers have continued to provide support and guidance to LA/RICs in response to requests.

Action - SI92

Education Scotland will provide ongoing support during the academic session 2020-21 for the quality assurance of education content for national standardised assessments and continue to contribute to the development of reporting advice, training advice and policy development.

Current Position

Complete

Education Scotland staff completed quality assurance activities for the educational content of the Scottish National Standardised Assessment for the 2021/22 session. The assessment was made available to schools and practitioners from August 2021.

SI93

Education Scotland will continue to consult with ADES during the academic session 2020-21 around the collection of NIF qualitative and quantitative data to inform the NIF national reporting and planning (September 2021).

Current Position

Complete

It was agreed that the NIF Return was not to be collected in academic year 2021-22. Local authorities continued to complete the annual education plan and report. NIF Officers contacted local authorities to offer support with the return of the statutory plans, if required.

Action - SI94

Education Scotland will continue to work with local authorities and RICs through locality working to support the needs of the system in the recovery phase.

Current Position

Complete

During session 2020-2021, Education Scotland provided support to local authorities and schools through the focus on people and place. The place based work was taken forward through locality work managed by Head of Scrutiny/Senior Inspector and Senior Regional Advisor for each locality. The focus of support was agreed and negotiated with local authorities. The progress and impact of this support was regularly reviewed with local authorities on an ongoing basis. This included a focus on support for schools where HM Inspectors of Education were due to carry out further inspection. Support was provided by Education Scotland staff from across Scrutiny and Regional directorates. At the moment there is no further locality support planned for 2022. Support will continue to be provided through RICs.

SI95

Education Scotland will provide support for practitioners through national and local webinars and these have been identified by RICs to support them through the recovery phase.

Current Position

Complete – business as usual

In June 2021, Digital Skills team delivered

  • 18 webinars
  • 872 attendees at webinars.

Since March 2020 the digital skills team have delivered 275 webinars to over 14,404 practitioners.

In June 2021 there were over 2962 visits, generating 6889 page views to the ES web page: DigiLearnScot. This is Education Scotland’s site for digital learning and teaching, hosting shared practice, upcoming and recorded webinars and learning pathways for practitioners. This takes the running total to

  • 130,000 visits
  • 297,000+ page views

In June there were 100.1 hours watched, 2546 views of Education Scotland YouTube. This brings the current YouTube statistics to -

  • 5,454.6 hours watched
  • 68,324 views
  • 1.02k subscribers.

Webinar Sessions delivered in June 2021

All local and regional webinars have been delivered to meet the needs of local and regional requests for support arising from practitioners and from evaluation feedback through the recovery phase.

Throughout the year staff from all 32 local authorities and all sectors (including ELC) have engaged in the webinars on offer. The webinars have covered everything from tools support, digital pedagogy and digital leadership.

Action - SI96

Scottish Government will develop an overarching programme of race equality and anti-racism in education to encompass 3 separate, but interlinked, workstreams:

  • Curriculum reform
  • Racism and racist bullying
  • Diversity in the teaching profession

These workstreams will be underpinned by a whole-system approach, giving consideration to areas such as assessment and qualifications, ITE, teacher professional development and leadership. Stakeholder engagement at official and Ministerial level will be a fundamental part of the development of an action plan containing short, medium and long-term ambitions, aligned with the 2021-24 Race Equality Action Plan.

Current Position

Ongoing

Initial stakeholder engagement sessions with officials and Ministers were undertaken between October 2020 and January 2021. This was followed by the establishment of the Race Equality & Anti Racism in Education Programme. The programme is supported by a small Programme Board (SG, ES, SQA & ADES) and a larger stakeholder network group with representation from a number of education and race equality stakeholders. Both groups meet monthly. 4 subgroups have now been established under the Stakeholder Network Group (SNG) to take forward the development of actions. The SNG met for the 7th time at the end of September - it is currently developing an evaluation model for the programme.

Action - SI97

The Scottish Government will publish its response to the recommendations in the ICEA’s second formal report in early 2021. The recommendations will be used to inform future improvement action.

Current Position

Ongoing

The 2022 NIF reflects planning and activity in response to the recommendations of the ICEA report, alongside those of other key recent reports in education (Audit Scotland, Equity Audit, OECD and the Scottish Attainment Challenge progress report). We will publish a formal response to the ICEA’s second formal report in 2022. This planned approach was discussed when the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills met virtually with the ICEA in September 2021.

SI98

A Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament has been attending the Education Recovery Group from October 2020, and will continue to do so, representing and sharing the views of young people to the group.

Current Position

Complete – business as usual

As of November 2021, one MSYP continues to be a member of and attends regular meetings of the COVID-19 Education Recovery Group (CERG) to represent and share the views of young people.

Performance information

Action - PI16

Early work is underway on a long-term project to develop a new index of social background, which is aimed at creating individual level data (as opposed to area-based) which allow more targeted and effective intervention for disadvantaged pupils.

Ongoing

We are currently engaging with the UK Department of Work and Pensions to agree sharing of their Children in Low Income Families data at school-level. Should this principle be agreed with DWP, work will begin to explore the practicality of accessing the individual-level data needed to develop the index.

Action - PI17

In 2019/2020 we will continue to administer the Challenge Authority, Schools Programme, Care Experienced Children and Young People and Pupil Equity funds as well as the National Programmes, supporting schools, local authorities and Third Sector organisations to close the poverty related attainment gap with up to £182m from the Attainment Scotland Fund.

Current Position

Complete – business as usual

Over £182m of funding was issued during 2019-20 from the Attainment Scotland Fund across all 32 local authorities, schools and a range of third sector organisations. Each authority and school develops annual improvement plans and reports, tailored to their own circumstances, detailing the actions they will take to close the poverty-related attainment gap, and their impact. In light of COVID-19, and the impact on some of the most vulnerable children and families, additional flexibility was introduced to the 2020-21 Attainment Scotland Funding, allowing councils and schools to redirect these funds provided that all spend remained aligned to the core principles of the programme. In May 2020, the Deputy First Minister confirmed Pupil Equity Funding for two year ahead - 2020/21 and 2021/22. This equates to more than £250m, and will be made available to 97% of schools over two years - 2020/21 and 2021/22.

Action - PI18

For the remainder of this parliament the Scottish Government and Education Scotland will continue to work in partnership with local authorities, schools and other key stakeholders to facilitate, broker and support action to maximise progress in reducing the poverty related attainment gap.

Current Position

Complete – business as usual

Through-out 2021/22 focus for ES and SG teams has been on the possibilities for this year, building on those key areas identified through reviews such as the Equity Audit and 5 Years of SAC report to see accelerated progress/impact. Key themes are providing advice and guidance; leading improvement and building capacity and contributing to robust evaluation of impact.

During 2021, ES and SG have worked with partners across education to drive forward progress on the re-fresh of SAC, and ensuring that work in this year aligns with the direction the re-fresh is taking.

Action - PI19

Research and development work will continue around the three aims of the Research Strategy.

Current Position

Ongoing

Research Strategy projects were paused and delayed by the impact of the pandemic and school building closures, including the Review of the Regional Improvement Collaboratives (RICs) and the Behaviour in Scottish Schools Research (BISSR). The Scottish Government is aiming for both the Parental Involvement and Engagement (PIE) Census and Health and Wellbeing Census to be undertaken by local authorities in 2021/22. However, new and emerging priorities have been addressed, such as the Equity Audit, the Schools Asymptomatic Testing surveys and the Closing the Attainment Gap 5 year report, while the ASF Evaluation was designed to include the impact of school building closures.

Action - PI20

The PISA 2021 assessment has been postponed until 2022 due to the impact of COVID-19. Results will be available in 2023.

Current Position

Ongoing

Preparations for PISA 2022 are ongoing, with assessments due to take place in around 110 schools across Scotland in October and November 2022.

Action - PI21

The Year 5 Evaluation of the Attainment Scotland Fund (ASF) report will be published in March 2021.

Current Position

Complete

The Year 5 evaluation report was published on 22nd March 2021. The report, is available at the following address:

https://www.gov.scot/publications/attainment-scotland-fund-evaluation-fourth-interim-report-year-5/

Action - PI22

The Behaviour in Scottish Schools (BISSR) 2021 research will be published.

Current Position

Ongoing

The action at AC71 will deliver this commitment. BISSR fieldwork could not take place as planned in March 2021 due to COVID restrictions in place in schools and their impact on survey reference periods. Scottish Advisory Group on Relationships and Behaviour in Schools is considering plans for the survey being undertaken in 2022.

Action - PI23

Scottish Government will work with our partners, including the ICEA, to design the best approach to accelerating progress with closing the poverty related attainment gap, through the next phase of the Scottish Attainment Challenge.

Current Position

Ongoing

An Advisory Group was established partners across the education landscape with regular meetings through 2021 which will continue into 2022. Such engagement has informed the direction of and refreshed mission of the Scottish Attainment Challenge which was announced on 23rd November 2021.

Work has also focused on developing a framework for recovery and accelerated progress, which will be published in 2022.

Action - PI24

Scottish Government will publish evidence of progress with our defining mission of closing the poverty related attainment gap by March 2021.

Current Position

Complete

Evidence of progress was published on gov.scot along with a summary report in March 2021 - https://www.gov.scot/publications/closing-poverty-related-attainment-gap-report-progress-2016-2021-summary-report/. This report presents the evidence of progress towards achieving the defining mission of closing the poverty related attainment gap over the period of the parliament 2016-2021. In doing so it also acknowledges the disruptive and detrimental impact of COVID-19.

Contact

Email: nationalimprovementframework@gov.scot

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