John Swinney publishes Scottish education plans

Written by Tom Freeman on 29 June 2016 in News

School governance arrangements will be reviewed in September as part of the Scottish Government's plans for education

Education secretary John Swinney has published the Scottish Government’s action plan for Scottish Education.

More autonomy for schools and a simplification of the Curriculum for Excellence are among the proposals, which the Deputy First Minister said provided a “blueprint” for a “world class education system”.

The document follows an education summit two weeks ago which brought together teachers unions, parents groups and opposition leaders.


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In a statement to MSPs yesterday, Swinney said a review of school governance would commence in September.

“It will explore all options and avenues to ensure that we create the right balance of autonomy and accountability in our education system. It will consider the changes to education that are needed to empower our teachers and schools, seek to devolve decision making and funding to schools and communities, and support the development of school clusters and new educational regions.

“At the same time, we will develop proposals for a fair and transparent national funding formula in order to ensure that resources go where they are most needed,” he said.

He also pledged to listen more to warning signs from teachers and de-clutter the curriculum.

Scottish Labour’s Iain Gray welcomed some aspects of the plan, but said too many things “remain somewhat ambiguous”.

“What we really needed to hear was, of course, absent. There is no commitment to protect education budgets,” he said.

Teaching union the EIS said it was "encouraged" by a recognition of the role of teachers. However general secretary Larry Flanagan said new governance proposals would be given close scrutiny.

"If these proposals are about enhancing support for schools, and ensuring that teachers have a fair say in the allocation of resources for learning and teaching, then this will be welcome. However, if there is any suggestion of centralising control of schools and reducing the role of democratically elected local authorities in running education, that would be an issue of huge concern for the teaching profession," he said.

Swinney will appear before the Scottish Parliament’s Education Committee this morning to outline the plans in more detail.

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