Putting Learners at the Centre: Towards a Future Vision for Scottish Education

Report provided to Scottish Ministers by Professor Ken Muir on the replacement of the Scottish Qualifications Authority, reform of Education Scotland and removal of its inspection function.

Appendix G: List of key policies

Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC)

GIRFEC is the national, rights-based approach to improving outcomes for, and wellbeing of, Scotland's children and young people. GIRFEC was introduced by the Scottish Government in 2006 as it was widely recognised that public services like education, health and social care needed to work more closely together to ensure that children and families get the coordinated, targeted support when they need it. This was based on the belief that at home, in school or the wider community, every child and young person should be: Safe; Healthy; Achieving; Nurtured; Active; Respected; Responsible; and Included (SHANARRI).

As a result of recent developments, not least the imminent enactment of the UNCRC and the implications of The Promise Scotland, which is responsible for driving the work of change demanded by the findings of the Independent Care Review, the values and principles on which GIRFEC is based are in the process of being refreshed to bring the policy up-to-date and reflect current best practice in Children's Services.

Developing the Young Workforce (DYW)

DYW is the Scottish Government's Youth Employment strategy that was introduced in 2014 to better prepare young people for the world of work, enhance youth employment prospects, and improve the connection between employers and education and the skills system. It has been designed to build on the flexible approach to learning provided by CfE, with schools and their partners having much greater flexibility to offer a wider range of pathways and options, including vocational qualifications, in line with modern labour market demands and which meet the needs of every learner.

Following on from the recommendations within the Youth Guarantee – No-One Left Behind: Initial Report, the 'DYW Futures' review is underway to further streamline the DYW programme and align it to the Young Person's Guarantee.

Other policy areas and reports

As well as changes either now being made or recommended to the three supporting pillars of the Scottish school education system, there are a number of other policy areas either under review or being introduced which focus on change and improvement and which impact either directly or indirectly on the school sector and CfE. These include the following.

  • The Scottish Attainment Challenge – Plans for the Scottish Attainment Challenge (SAC) for 2022/23 to 2025/26 were set out by the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills in November 2021[65].
  • The National Improvement Framework (NIF) – The 2021 National Improvement Framework and Improvement Plan which was published in December 2020[66].
  • The Education Governance Review consultation (Empowering teachers, parents and communities to achieve Excellence and Equity – A Governance Review) led to the publication of the Education Governance Next Steps in June 2017. The Next Steps publication sets out a vision of a school and teacher-led system with decision making taking place at school level[67].
  • Realising the Ambition: Being Me – The national practice guidance for early years in Scotland covering the period from birth through early childhood into primary education which was introduced in February 2020[68].
  • Additional Support for Learning Review which was published in June 2020[69].
  • International Council of Education Advisers: 2nd Formal Report which was released in December 2020[70].
  • Audit Scotland: Improving Outcomes for Young People through School Education which was published in March 2021[71].
  • A National Care Service Review which is ongoing.
  • Skills Development Scotland's Career Service Review which is ongoing[72].
  • The Promise Scotland which was set out in March 2021[73].
  • Research Scotland's report on the Review of the Regional Improvement Collaboratives (RICs) which was published recently[74].
  • The Scottish Government's response to the Scottish Funding Council's Coherence and Sustainability: A Review of Tertiary Education and Research which was published in October 2021[75].
  • Other ongoing curricular reviews in relation to LGBT education, rights education and race equality and anti-racist education.



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