Finland links up with East Lothian schools to study Curriculum for Excellence

Written by Tom Freeman on 19 June 2018 in News

Finnish school leader “impressed” with Scottish approach to school improvement

Finnish school, Espoo - Irmeli Aro

Finnish educationalists have set up a partnership with Scottish schools after being impressed with Scotland’s approach to school improvement, it has emerged.

Seven schools from Espoo in Finland will be linked with seven schools in East Lothian so that teachers and pupils can share best practice, in a deal brokered by the General Teaching Council of Scotland (GTCS).

Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence is designed to provide a broad holistic education, which Finnish educationalists want to evaluate.

Finland’s new national curriculum has recently been rolled out to Espoo, which is part of the highest-performing education area in the country.

Eeva-Kaisa Ikonen, Espoo Superintendent of Education and Cultural Services, said: “Finnish schools are currently implementing new curricula with an emphasis on the school as a learning community and sustainable, collaborative learning.

“We have been impressed with the Scottish school improvement and professional learning programmes as well as the practices for implementing the Curriculum of Excellence.

“Espoo greets our new partnership with East Lothian schools and looks forward to shared learning experiences on these and other mutually significant themes.”

Fiona Robertson, Head of Education at East Lothian Council, said: “We are very proud of our schools in East Lothian and I’m delighted that our staff will have this fantastic opportunity to share expertise and collaborate with their counterparts from Espoo.”

GTCS chief executive Ken Muir said: “Usually the world looks to Finland for educational excellence but here is an example of Finland looking to Scotland.

“I think this confirms the high quality that exists in many Scottish schools and proves that we need to offer more positivity about our education system and the opportunities afforded children and young people here.”

John Swinney said: “It is extremely welcome that the excellence within our schools in Scotland is being acknowledged by such a high performing and respected nation like Finland.

 “I am especially pleased to hear of their interest in Curriculum for Excellence and the work currently going on to improve the life chances of all our children and young people.”

Schools involved in the visit and partnership are Cockenzie Primary, Pinkie St. Peters Primary and Nursery, Dunbar Primary, Elphinstone Primary, North Berwick High School, Musselburgh Grammar, and Dunbar Grammar.

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