Putting learners at the centre: response to the independent advisor on education reform's report

Response to the report by the independent advisor on education reform, Professor Ken Muir.

A renewed vision

Professor Muir recommendations 1 and 2

1. The Scottish Government should initiate a national discussion on establishing a compelling and consensual vision for the future of Scottish education that takes account of the points made in this report, in particular the importance of placing the learner at the centre of all decisions. The vision for Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) should be considered as part of this discussion as should consideration of how the education system seeks to address the purposes described in Article 29 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

2. Invitations to shape this vision should be made to all partners and stakeholders, including all learners, teachers, practitioners, parents and carers. It will be important to ensure that ‘narrative privilege’ is accorded to all who have an interest and not just key educational bodies, with opportunities for all to debate and challenge emerging suggestions.

Initial response

Fully accept: we will work with current national bodies, education partners and stakeholders to continue to deliver and build on our high-quality education system, seeking to ensure that all children and young people can achieve their potential. We will facilitate a national discussion on the vision for the future of Scottish education, and will appoint an independent facilitator to assist with the delivery of this work. We will ensure it aligns with and builds on existing commitments, such as the OECD framework, National Improvement Framework and Scottish Attainment Challenge, as well as the principles developed in Professor Muir’s report.

We will also use the opportunity of a national discussion to align with the work being undertaken to explore the values, vision and principles for the future of colleges, universities, and research following the commitment in our response to the SFC’s Review of Coherence and Sustainability published last October. In doing so, we will engage across tertiary, employer and wider skills and learning landscapes to further embed the principles of life-long learning throughout our learner journeys and wider society. This will include discussion on the enhanced role of digital throughout the education and learning system, both for learners and practitioners.

The lived educational experience of young people is fundamental to this work. We will ensure children, young people and learners are placed at the heart of these discussions and that children’s rights described by the UNCRC are embedded throughout our education system. We will build on networks and tools established throughout Professor Muir’s engagement process to better involve our children and young people in the decisions made that affect them, and will continue to work closely with Children’s Parliament, Scottish Youth Parliament, and Together, among other children and young people’s organisations.

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