Empowering Schools: education reform progress update

Progress update on delivery of the Scottish Government's programme of education reform.

Chapter 7: Evaluating Progress

Joint agreement

The Joint Agreement committed signatories to:

  • During the academic year 2018-19, local authorities will complete the self-evaluation of school empowerment in the local area.
  • An evaluation strategy will be developed by August 2018 to review the impact of school empowerment.
  • Education Scotland will deliver three new focused inspections in the 2018-19 academic year looking at the following themes: readiness for empowerment; curriculum leadership; and parent and pupil participation.


Local authority colleagues have engaged positively in the development of the self-evaluation tools and are piloting there development in three local authorities. Beyond this, an overarching draft evaluation strategy, designed to measure the extent and impact of school empowerment across the system is in development, and will draw on new and existing evidence sources, including teacher surveys, school and thematic inspections, local authority self-evaluation, case studies, and regional improvement collaborative plans and reports.

Education Scotland has undertaken three national thematic inspections. The evidence gathered by HM Inspectors shows the positive steps already being taken on the journey towards empowerment and the ways in which different local authorities have embraced the principles set out in the Joint Agreement. HM Inspectors found a high level of professional commitment to collaboration and co-production exists across Scottish education in order to improve outcomes for children and young people. However, findings also show clearly that, as expected, there is still more to be done to realise our collective ambition of an empowered, collaborative system.

Going forward

Understanding how empowerment is embedding across Scotland’s schools will be a key part of the sector’s shared work in the coming year, with this in mind, the Joint Steering Group will provide a further assessment of progress towards a school and teacher-led system in June 2020. This will follow a year of intensive and meaningful engagement across the system to engage, embed and evidence the role of empowerment in delivering excellence and equity in education.


Email: scott.miller@gov.scot

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