Partnerships are key to progress

8th July 2016 at 00:00

The government’s recent plan for Scottish education is an ambitious document, in what it hopes to deliver and in its speed of execution. But the focus on achieving equitable outcomes for Scotland’s young people is just what the country’s education system needs.

Closing the attainment gap requires a joined-up approach that doesn’t simply address education in isolation from important social, economic and health issues. The delivery plan recognises parents in this equation but misses an opportunity to name the importance of working with communities. Parental engagement might be better supported through community development and adult education, not just a school-based focus.

The delivery plan’s emphasis on research-informed policy and practice is welcome, as is the plan to invest in teachers. But we are cautious about a singular focus on initial teacher education. Schools themselves need to become sites of teacher learning. Teacher judgment, central to the government’s approach to student assessment, is not acquired overnight. Assessment data by itself won’t increase attainment. Support for strong partnerships between universities and schools is needed to promote a culture of lifelong learning in the teaching profession.

Professor Trevor Gale

Head of the School of Education, University of Glasgow

Short and tweet

Irony of being in Vienna today speaking to a European audience about Scottish [education] system with how Scotland has voted not lost on audience.


Deeds not words for me this week. 1. Shop at Polish deli. 2. Send kids’ schools info on anti-racist education. 3. Donate to refugee charity.


Article 2 UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) protects the principle of non-discrimination: “‘No child should be treated unfairly on any basis.” #Brexit


My mum will be at the Somme tomorrow to lay a wreath in tribute to the eight lads from @GordonSchools (Huntly) killed there in WW1. #Somme100


P1-4 are reflecting on this year. We’ve enjoyed lots of things! Look out for @GlowScot posts on our e-portfolios.


Happy holidays everyone! Let us know what adventures you have... See you in August.


Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today