Empowering teachers, parents and communities to achieve excellence and equity in education: governance review

Consultation on how the education sector is run, who should take decisions on the education of children and young people and how funding can be made fairer.

Foreword by the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills

photograph of John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills

Improving the education and life chances of our children is the defining mission of this Government.

I believe that the success of our education system depends on the quality of teaching and the exercise of clear and effective leadership. Teachers and practitioners want to secure the best possible outcomes for children. They are entitled to operate in a system where they are supported by leadership that adds value to their own professional input and are supported to collaborate to deliver for young people.

In Improving Schools in Scotland: An OECD Perspective, the OECD confirmed the many strengths in our education system. I have seen the positive impact that teachers are making to the lives of children and young people. I have also heard about some of the challenges and barriers they face.

If we are to deliver our vision of excellence and equity in education, we must empower our teachers to make the best decisions for children and young people. Decisions about children's learning and school life should be taken within schools themselves, supported by parents and local communities.

We must be willing to consider and question how each part of the education system - from early learning and childcare provision through to secondary school education - supports the vision of excellence and equity. We must ask these questions holding true to the strong values which underpin Scottish education and which are supported by international evidence and best practice. Evidence shows that co-operation and collaboration, not competition or marketisation, drives improvement. Scotland pioneered publicly-funded comprehensive school education for all and the Scottish Government remains absolutely committed to this.

This governance review offers an opportunity to build on the best of Scottish education and to take part in a positive and open debate. I want to hear views from across every part of Scotland in the weeks and months ahead - from children and young people, from parents, teachers, practitioners and the wider community. I want to hear from those with a formal role in our education system and those who share a stake in its success.

Above all, during the course of this review, we must keep in sharp focus this shared endeavour of excellence and equity to deliver the world-leading education system our children and young people deserve.

John Swinney MSP
Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills

September 2016


Email: Tracey McRae, tracey.mcrae@gov.scot

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