Curriculum for Excellence review: implementation framework

A framework for how we will address the recommendations in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report, ‘Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence: Into the Future’. This will include using the analysis and advice set out in Professor Stobart’s working paper on assessment in secondary education.


Improving the opportunities and outcomes for children and young people is at the heart of this work. That is why it is fundamentally important that we create the spaces for children and young people to tell us what their priorities and ambitions are. We are establishing the Children and Young People's Education Council, chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, to ensure children and young people can discuss these issues directly with the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills. Ensuring the voices of children and young people are heard as policies develop is critical; the process must include children and young people with a range of lived experience, including early years, those with Additional Support Needs and from minority ethnic backgrounds.

In addition, the needs of each individual child and young person can only be identified and met if those who work closely with them day in and day out are enabled and empowered to make decisions about their learning, support and health and wellbeing. The Scottish Government remains committed to working collaboratively and in partnership with local government and Education Scotland in support of furthering the empowerment of schools, settings, teachers and practitioners. We will work directly with teachers and schools to build local, regional and national communities of practitioners to lead, shape and design reform work, to ensure that the empowerment agenda is a common central thread throughout educational policy.

The Scottish Education Council, also chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, is a key senior leadership forum for education in Scotland. Alongside other leadership groups, such as the Curriculum and Assessment Board and the Strategic Board for Teacher Education, it has the responsibility of ensuring that all work taken forward in education continues to centre on the right of every child to an education which fully develops their personality, talents and abilities.

The governance landscape for this work is provided below.

In developing detailed plans for what happens next we will take a collaborative approach using the table below as a starting point. We will take the time to work with partners and stakeholders to develop the mandate for change which will help ensure all parts of the education system are involved and aligned. These detailed plans will be reflected in the 2022 National Improvement Framework and Improvement Plan which will be published in December 2021.

Professor Muir has established an Expert Panel and Practitioner and Stakeholder Advisory Group in support of his work, and is working with Children's Parliament, Scottish Youth Parliament and Together to support children and young people's engagement. Professor Muir will report to the Cabinet Secretary in early 2022.

The full set of OECD recommendations and a summary of Professor Stobart's conclusions from his working paper is included in the Annex. In setting out the framework for implementation, next steps and actions have been grouped according to key themes arising from the OECD's report, namely:

  • Re-assess the vision of CfE
  • Agree measurement and evaluation approach
  • Clarify roles and responsibilities
  • Align assessment and qualifications
  • Increase curriculum development capacity

In addition the OECD placed strong emphasis on implementation, communication and stakeholder engagement, which is considered below.



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