Appendix A: Discussions between Scottish Government and Local Government on the Education Bill
Context: The Scottish Government has set out clear aims and objectives in relation to the forthcoming Education Bill: improving the education and life chances of our children and young people, closing the unacceptable gap in attainment between the least and most disadvantaged children and raising attainment for all. The Bill aims to create a school and teacher led education system, with children at the centre. The consultation emphasises the need for a collaborative effort in order to achieve the overall aims, starting with teachers and leadership in schools and complemented by Local Authorities and new Regional Improvement Collaboratives
Local Government responses to the consultation indicate broad agreement with the overall aims and objectives. However, concerns are expressed about whether some of the specific measures proposed for the Bill will deliver on the agreed aims. The consultation responses from COSLA, SOLACE and ADES indicate a desire to work with the Scottish Government to ensure that shared aims can be achieved within a framework that supports both improvement in Scottish education and wider integrated children’s services .
Next Steps: Discussions will take place between senior officers in the Scottish Government and Local Government in order to examine whether a shared proposal can be developed for the Bill that meets the shared policy objectives and secures agreement on the method by which those objectives will be secured, to improve outcomes for Scotland’s children and young people
In the spirit of collective leadership, the work will be overseen by an officer level commissioning group, consisting of Sally Loudon ( COSLA), Joyce White ( SOLACE) and Paul Johnston (Scottish Government). They will be responsible for inviting senior colleagues to play a full part in the discussions and will receive a report on the outcome of the discussions
The discussions will be convened by Gayle Gorman in her capacity as Chief Inspector of Education for Scotland.
The conclusions of the discussions will be shared with the Deputy First Minister and the COSLA Education Spokesman for further consideration. It will not restrict the Scottish Government in terms of any aspect of the legislation that it will introduce, nor will it restrict COSLA or any other party in the view that it will adopt in relation to that legislation
Scope: The discussions can cover the range of topics within the consultation on the Education Bill, with a particular focus on the extent to which agreement can be reached on the central proposals in the Bill, in particular (but not restricted to) the headteachers charter
Timing: There is a need for the discussions to be focussed and to progress at pace, with a report being provided to the commissioning group by 29 March 2018.
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