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.

3. Scope and principles


Early learning and childcare and schools, do not exist in isolation and a child's outcomes are strongly influenced by factors outside school. But schools, together with early years provision, are the universal services for children and young people. In short, they make a difference to every child.

The primary focus of this review is on publicly-funded school-age education and the system and funding which supports the journey of all our children and young people through Curriculum for Excellence from 3 to 18. The governance arrangements of publicly-funded early learning and childcare are also in scope.

The role and functions of the following bodies and organisations are within the scope of this review:

  • all publicly-funded schools, including Gaelic medium and denominational schools
  • all publicly-funded early learning and childcare provision, including local authority provision and that being delivered by private providers and the third sector
  • all special publicly-funded provision for children and young people, including for those with additional support needs
  • local authorities
  • Education Scotland
  • Scottish Government
  • Care Inspectorate
  • Scottish Social Services Council
  • Scottish Qualifications Authority
  • General Teaching Council for Scotland
  • Scottish College for Educational Leadership
  • universities providing Initial Teacher Education

We recognise that, in considering governance, a whole system approach is required. This means taking into account the wide range of relationships which education has with other people and bodies at a local, regional and national level which support children and young people, parents and wider communities in Scotland.


The focus of this review is on how governance can be improved to support delivery of excellence and equity to our children and young people. Our approach to public sector reform continues to be rooted in the four pillars of reform laid down by the Christie Commission: a presumption of prevention, integration and partnership, a sharp focus on performance, and investment in people.

We consider that the following key principles should also underpin our approach. Our education system must:

  • be focused on improving outcomes, and support the delivery of excellence and equity for children and young people
  • meet the needs of all of our children and young people, no matter where they live or their family circumstances
  • support and empower children and young people, parents, teachers, practitioners and communities
  • be supported by a simple and transparent funding system to ensure the maximum public benefit and best value for money
  • support children and young people to make smooth transitions into formal learning, through school and into further education, training or employment

Question 3

Should the above key principles underpin our approach to reform? Are there other principles which should be applied?


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

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