Education - Achieving Excellence and Equity: National Improvement Framework and improvement plan 2023

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.

Education reform

Following the 2021 OECD report "Scotland's Curriculum for Excellence: Into the Future" we have embarked upon an ambitious programme of educational reform to ensure our system remains world leading.

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

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

Professor Ken Muir's report recommended holding a national discussion to establish a compelling and consensual vision for the future of Scottish education.

The national discussion was launched at the Scottish Learning Festival on 21 September, and closed on 5 December 2022. It was co-convened by the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA). Professor Alma Harris and Professor Carol Campbell from the ICEA were appointed as independent facilitators. Professors Harris and Campbell were clear that children and young people should be at the centre of the national discussion. In a blog published by the independent facilitators they said:

"If solutions to the upcoming global and local challenges are to be found, and children's rights in this world are to be respected, we need to talk about education. We need to listen to children and young people, who will ultimately be responsible for shaping the future in Scotland and further afield."

The initial findings from the national discussion will be published in spring 2023 and will help to deliver change and drive improvement going forward.

Qualifications and assessment

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

Education bodies

Professor Muir's review also recommended the creation of three new national education bodies to replace the SQA and Education Scotland. These include a qualifications body, a national agency for Scottish education, and an independent inspectorate body.

These bodies will reflect the culture and values that we want to be embedded throughout our education and skills system. Work is underway with partners, including a wide range of stakeholders, to ensure these are in place during 2024.

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

Next steps

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



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