International Council of Education Advisers: third report 2021-2023

This is the third formal report of the ICEA relating to their third two-year term (2021-2023) of work.


The International Council of Education Advisers (ICEA) was established in 2016 to provide advice regarding education policies and practices on a pro-bono basis to the First Minister and Scottish Government to advance equity and excellence in the Scottish education system. Members of the ICEA reside and work within and outside Scotland and have experience and knowledge of operating internationally as researchers and policy advisors with and for other governments. They also have experience working with and for international organisations such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The ICEA brings together diverse international expertise and perspectives in relation to the opportunities and challenges for Scotland’s education system. This is the third formal report of the ICEA.

Post COVID-19 pandemic, both the global landscape and local situations have changed quite drastically. In particular, the ICEA notes that several educational reviews have been undertaken from 2021 to 2023 and that the current global fiscal challenges are also affecting Scotland. In this ICEA report, we are mindful of this context and we intend to add value to Scottish education by recommending actions that can be taken to move forward in these challenging times, with an eye for the future.

This remainder of this report is structured as follows. First, we review the major recommendations in the previous ICEA report, published in 2020, and second we review the main recommendations of the major reviews of components of the system, to highlight their synergies. We argue that given the insights from all these reports, it is timely now and indeed critical to implement change that will bring significant benefits to Scottish education. Acknowledging the financial position, third we recommend actions in Scotland that could be prioritised and implemented taking account of current budgetary constraints before offering a concluding commentary.



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