Scotland Performs Update

Scottish Government performance information

National Outcome: Our young people are successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens

A School and Teacher-led System: Empowering teachers, parents and communities


  • The project comprises a linked and coherent set of policies aimed at developing a school and teacher-led education system.
  • Curriculum for Excellence already provides the framework for school-led curriculum design and implementation and a package of reforms will ensure that this vision is achieved.
  • These include, but are not limited to:
    • Pupil Equity Funding ( PEF) which provides additional funding for headteachers to support work to close the poverty related attainment gap
    • Policies and programmes to support parental and community involvement in education
    • A Headteachers’ Charter which will set out the rights and responsibilities of headteachers that will empower them to be the leaders of learning and teaching in their schools.


  • The funding to support a school and teacher-led system is contained within a variety of Scottish Government, Education Scotland and local authority budgets:
    • Local authorities and schools deliver Curriculum for Excellence via their core education funding, that is, the General Revenue Grant (it is estimated that approx. 53% of the annual £4.9bn education expenditure is spent on teachers and 15% on non-teaching staff).
    • PEF of £120m is being provided to 95% of schools in Scotland in 2017-18. A further £120m per year will be delivered in each subsequent financial year of this Parliament. This translates to £1,200 for each pupil in P1 to S3 known to be eligible for free school meals.
  • Funding to support parental involvement, engagement and family learning is contained within a range of budgets including:
    • Education Scotland’s £22.4m operating budget 2017-18
    • The Scottish Government’s funding to support the Bookbug (£1.67m in 2017-18), PlayTalkRead (£0.65m in 2017-18) and Read, Write, Count (£1.5m in 2017-18) campaigns; and the Attainment Scotland Fund to local authorities
    • Many individual schools are investing portions of their PEF in family learning projects and home/school link workers.
  • Headteachers’ Charter: Following the conclusion of consultation and legislative processes, local authorities’ core education funding and Education Scotland’s operating budget will support headteacher choices enabled by the charter.
  • Regional Improvement Collaboratives are being resourced from existing Local Authority and Education Scotland budgets.


  • The PEF supports the recruitment of additional staff and projects to improve literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing. National guidance was developed as well as practice guidance and support from Education Scotland. A process evaluation has been established and the first report will be published in 2020.

Achievements (continued)

  • Parental engagement/family learning programmes complement and support the learning that goes on in school. They help to improve parents’ confidence in supporting their children’s learning at home.
  • To ensure consistent, high quality support and improvement services to schools, headteachers and teachers, the Scottish Government, working closely with local government partners, has established Regional Improvement Collaboratives.

Key partners

  • SOLACE, COSLA, Association of Directors of Education and local authorities.
  • Headteachers and teachers, with specific focus on engagement with the Deputy First Minister’s Teacher Panel—a panel of headteachers and teachers from across Scotland.
  • Parental organisations and third sector organisations who provide family learning programmes.


  • The development of the operational arrangements for PEF involved close joint working with COSLA and Directors of Education to agree the statistical basis for the allocation of funding and to develop National Operational Guidance. Additional practice guidance was developed for headteachers by Education Scotland.
  • Policy reforms to support parental and family engagement are delivered by the PEF, Scottish Attainment Challenge and forthcoming legislative reforms to the 2006 Parental Involvement Act. The Scottish Government’s policy on parental involvement/engagement was informed by a national Parental Engagement Steering Group.
  • The education reform agenda has been developed in partnership with the profession and local government, including through the education governance consultation carried out in 2017. This partnership working will continue through the next stage of consultation on the Headteachers’ Charter.

Contribution to National Outcomes

  • Education reform policy empowers those closest to children to make the key decisions related to their education by:
    • The targeting of PEF to help address inequalities in Scottish society by providing significant injection of additional education support in a targeted way with significant local and school level flexibility.
    • Parental engagement and family learning programmes help to support wider health and wellbeing of families—and help to improve the life chances for children and young people— with particular benefits for families in more disadvantaged circumstances.
    • Creating a Headteachers’ Charter which will empower headteachers to be the leaders of learning in their schools, making the decisions that most affect the pupils in their schools.

The project contributes towards other National Outcomes, such as:

  • We have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society.
  • We have improved the life chances for children, young people and families at risk.


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