Education governance – next steps: executive summary

Summary of the Government's vision of an education system which is led by schools and teachers.

Chapter 1: Introduction


The Education Governance Review consultation (Empowering teachers, parents and communities to achieve Excellence and Equity - A Governance Review) ran from the 3 September 2016 to the 6 January 2017.

The consultation paper contained 17 open-ended questions which sought opinions on the current Governance arrangements and the principles which should guide those arrangements. Additionally, it also invited views around community empowerment, the role of schools and teachers, funding, cluster working and regional collaborations.

The consultation was launched at a Ministerial event and promoted through various routes to help ensure it reached a wide audience. The Scottish Government organised 16 consultation events for parents, teachers and the wider public across Scotland.

Responses and respondents

A total of 1,154 submissions were received comprising 382 organisations and 772 individuals. Additionally, almost 700 people attended the public events.

Organisational respondents came from the public, private and third sectors, and included local authorities, schools/clusters, head teacher associations, national bodies/agencies, parent councils, universities and unions amongst others. Many of the organisation responses had been informed by discussion and debate within and between organisations and their own stakeholder groups.

Individual respondents included parents, teachers, educational leaders such as head or deputy head teachers, others working within the education sector, and the public. However, identification of respondent type was only possible within a small proportion of responses, so an accurate breakdown of individuals' responses by respondent type is not possible.

Unless specified, when referring to 'responses' and 'respondents' we mean both organisational and individual responses and respondents.

While the majority of responses followed the format of the consultation questionnaire, some respondents submitted non-standard responses (such as letters or stand-alone documents) which did not directly address the consultation questions. However, where possible, themes were identified for inclusion in the analysis. Amongst those providing written submissions to the consultation, not all provided a response to each question. Questions on the overall strength and weaknesses of the current governance system and the question around cluster working attracted the highest level of responses.


The aim of the analysis was to present the wide range of views offered. The responses were examined using a qualitative thematic approach and the key themes from the analysis are summarised in this report. Organisational responses were analysed internally by the Scottish Government Education Analytical Services Division. Rocket Science UK Ltd was commissioned to analyse the 772 individual responses, using a similar framework that ensured both analyses were comparable.

The analysis is focused on the volume and depth of the responses provided rather than the number of respondents. In other words, conclusions can only be drawn about the comments/information that respondents volunteered. If a respondent did not answer the question, or reference a particular topic, no conclusions can be drawn in regards to their opinions or stances on the issue discussed. This is particularly noteworthy in regards to topics that were outwith the questions asked ( e.g. discussion of ASN).

When discussing the prevalence of certain views, either amongst all respondents or amongst a certain subset, the following terms are used to indicate relative prevalence:

  • 'Few' means between 5 and 9%
  • 'Some' means between 10 and 19%
  • 'Many' means between 20 and 49%
  • 'Most' or 'majority' means between 50 and 74%
  • 'Large majority' means between 75 and 89%
  • 'Consensus' means 90% or over.

The structure of this report covers all key topic areas of the governance review consultation as follows: Chapter 2 focuses on the current governance system (Questions 1-3); Chapter 3 looks at national bodies and functions (questions 4 and 12); Chapter 4 addresses regional collaborations (questions 10-11); Chapter 5 presents responses around cluster working (question 9); Chapter 6 concentrates on school level governance and school/teacher collaboration (questions, 4, 5, 8 and 13) and also covers cross cutting issues in regards to additional support needs; Chapter 7 revolves around parental and community empowerment (questions 6-7); Chapter 8 addresses funding related issues (questions 14 and 15); Chapter 9 presents responses around accountability (question 16). Chapter 10 draws out responses across the review questions that raised ASN.


Email: Stephanie Gray

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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