In her first speech to Parliament following her election as First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said that education would be the defining mission of the new government.
And reflecting the importance placed on raising attainment, the First Minister gave her most senior minister, the Deputy First Minister John Swinney, responsibility for education.
Since then, the Scottish Government has been taking forward its plan to radically reform Scotland’s education system. Here’s how.
1. We’ve committed £750 million over the next five years to close the poverty-related gap in education attainment.
We’ve continued to expand the Scottish Attainment Fund, which is now supporting more than 300 schools in Scotland. The fund is delivering additional resources targeted at schools where it is needed most, particularly to support improvement in literacy and numeracy.
And, this year 2,300 schools across the country will benefit from the new £120 million Pupil Equity Funding Scheme. Head teachers and school leaders will be able to use the funding to close the poverty related attainment gap in schools.
2. We are putting in place a detailed measurement system that will tell us what is working – and what is not working – in our schools.
The National Improvement Framework
, launched in January 2016, will gather teacher judgement information on children’s progress, which will be informed by national standardised assessments.
3. We have taken action to reduce teacher workload and bureaucracy.
4. We are empowering our schools.
New educational regions will also be created so that good practice is shared between schools, ensure we deliver value for money and deliver the best outcomes for all children.
6. An international education panel has been appointed.
Scotland’s new International Council of Education Advisers was appointed by Nicola Sturgeon in July 2016. The panel will advise the Scottish Government on its education priorities and ensure that its action on attainment is influenced by international best practice. Read more about the work of the panel here.