National consultation on Scottish education launches

The government consultation will run for eight weeks and is open to ‘all who have an interest in Scottish education’
1st October 2021, 10:53am
Emma Seith

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National consultation on Scottish education launches

https://www.tes.com/magazine/news/general/national-consultation-scottish-education-launches
National Consultation On Scottish Education Launches

The national consultation on the future of Scottish education - sparked by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's recent review of Curriculum for Excellence - is now underway.

The consultation - which can be found here - is being billed as "an open invitation for all who have an interest in Scottish education to engage in helping set the direction of travel for the future of Scottish education".

The consultation has been instigated by Professor Ken Muir as part of his work taking forward some of the recommendations that came out of the OECD review of CfE, published in June.


Background: SQA to be replaced, education secretary reveals

OECD review: OECD review paves way for qualifications overhaul

Related: SQA and Education Scotland reform team is revealed

Interview: Tes' 10 questions with...Ken Muir


Specifically, Professor Muir will be responsible for advising the government on the plans to replace the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and reform Education Scotland, including removing the school inspection function from that body.

In his introduction to the consultation, Professor Muir says its main focus is on "the ownership of Curriculum for Excellence; how we address the issues around roles and responsibilities for curriculum and assessment; and how we address the 'misalignment' between the Broad General Education and the Senior Phase identified by the OECD".

The consultation - which Tes Scotland revealed plans for earlier this week - is divided into four sections: vision; curriculum and assessment; roles and responsibilities; replacing the SQA and reforming Education Scotland.

The OECD review published in June stated: "Despite attempts to reform qualifications, misalignment between CfE's aspirations and the qualification system became a barrier to CfE's implementation in secondary education."

The review found that senior phase students "reported an emphasis on rote learning and memorisation" and suggested that Scotland needed to move away from "traditional" exams and embrace assessment approaches that better align with 21st-century curricula.

The report also recommended splitting the dual functions of Education Scotland - which is responsible for inspection and curriculum development - saying that Scotland should consider creating "a specialist standalone agency" responsible for the curriculum, and that such an agency could also be responsible for assessment.

Shortly after the report was published, education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said the Scottish government was accepting all 12 of the OECD review recommendations. The following day, Professor Muir was appointed to begin the process of taking some of them forward.

His piece of work got underway in August and will run until January, when a report is due to be published. The consultation will run until Friday 26 November.

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