International Council of Education Advisers: report 2016-2018

This is the first formal report of the International Council of Education Advisers (ICEA) following the initial two-year period of their appointment.


14. The International Council of Education Advisers ( ICEA) was established in August 2016 by the First Minister, to advise Ministers and officials on the Scottish Government's priorities for education and on how best to achieve excellence and equity in the Scottish education system.

15. The membership of the ICEA is made up of education professionals, academics, and business experts with a range of knowledge and extensive experience of advising educators and governments on education leadership, school improvement and reform. Biographies of all 11 members are included at Annex A.

16. The ICEA has two full meetings a year, where the Council is usually joined by both the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister. The dates and locations of the meetings, to date, have been as follows:

  • 31 August and 1 September 2016 - Edinburgh
  • 27 and 28 February 2017 - Edinburgh
  • 20 and 21 September 2017 - Glasgow and Edinburgh
  • 26 and 27 April 2018 - Inverness

17. As well as discussions with Ministers and Education Scotland, at each meeting the ICEA has held discussions with a variety of stakeholders involved in Scottish education including the Teacher Panel, the professional associations, teachers and pupils from a number of different schools, and the new Regional Improvement Leads. The ICEA also held a question and answer session at the Scottish Learning Festival and presented at the National Improvement Conference in September 2017. These discussions have helped to provide a rounded picture of Scotland’s education system, which has informed the ICEA’s consideration of how Scotland can continue to build a world class education system that delivers excellence and equity for all. At the final session of each meeting, the ICEA has had the opportunity to share its emerging conclusions and recommendations with the First Minister, and the Deputy First Minister.

18. This is the ICEA’s first formal report following the initial two-year period of appointment. It sets out considerations of the challenges involved, analysis of key policy issues, and suggestions for the action required to make Scotland’s education system even stronger and of a world class standard.

19. This ICEA report builds on the interim report, published in July 2017, and encapsulates all the advice that the ICEA has provided to the First Minister and Deputy First Minister since August 2016. It explores in greater detail the policy considerations and policy issues that the ICEA has deliberated upon during this initial two-year term of appointment, and it gives an overview of the evidence considered, and the advice provided. The report sets out some recommendations for the Scottish Government to consider.


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