Nicola Sturgeon has set out Scotland’s new National Improvement Framework alongside her aspiration for Scotland’s education system to be world leading.
The SNP are committed to having a Scottish education system which delivers excellence, aspiration and ambition. We want Scotland’s children to reach their full potential, and for this to be determined by aptitude and hard work, rather than by their circumstances or background.
Nicola has frequently spoken about how closing the attainment gap is a priority for her as First Minister, and it is a defining challenge for the SNP Scottish Government.
Last month the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published a study of Scotland’s education system.
The report found that:
- Levels of academic achievement in Scotland are above international averages
- School leaver destinations are now the best on record – more than nine in ten school-leavers go on to positive destinations by securing jobs, training or continued education
- Scottish schools are highly inclusive
- There are positive attitudes in schools and among pupils
- It also highlighted that Scotland has the potential to do much better in closing the attainment gap.
The SNP in Government are already taking action to close the attainment gap, including establishing a £100 million Attainment Scotland Fund, which provides support to schools and local authorities in the most deprived areas.
However, alongside these actions there needs to be consistent information that tells parents, teachers, local authorities and Scottish Government how children are doing at school and whether our activity to close the gap is working. That is the purpose of the new National Improvement Framework.
The Framework has been developed in consultation with teachers, parents and local authorities, and teacher judgement lies at the heart of the system. It will be launched in 2017 following pilot studies this year.
It will provide better and more consistent data about attainment than Scotland has ever had before.
- For children, this will mean they can be supported more effectively.
- For parents, this will provide clear and meaningful information on their child’s progress, consistently presented no matter where they are in the country
- For teachers, local authorities and community planning partnerships, this will provide better data for identifying areas for improvement
- For the Scottish Government, it means they will have clear information to guide national policy
The collation of information gathered through the Framework will allow the Scottish Government to set clear, precise and meaningful milestones on the road to closing the attainment gap – meeting Nicola’s aspiration to make substantial progress in completely eliminating the attainment gap within the next decade.