Scottish Government education reforms 'will not improve attainment', warn councils

Written by Tom Freeman on 30 January 2018 in News

More clarity needed about roles and responsibilities in school leadership reforms, Scottish Government warned

Children at school - Barry Batchelor/PA

The Scottish Government’s flagship education reforms will not improve the attainment of Scotland’s pupils, Scotland’s councils have warned.

The Education (Scotland) Bill, which is currently under consultation, would establish regional collaborative bodies to drive improvement, hand head teachers more power over school budgets and replace teaching standards body the GTCS with an Education Workforce Council for Scotland.

However, Education Secretary John Swinney must win the support of at least one opposition party to get the reforms through parliament.

Local Authorities won concessions from Swinney in September but in its submission to the consultation, umbrella body COSLA said the plans breached previous agreements.

The regional collaborative bodies must complement, not replace, the work of councils, it warned.

Legal advice suggests handing head teachers more power over hiring and firing of teachers could also lead to legal wrangles, the document added.

COSLA's Children and Young People Spokesperson Councillor Stephen McCabe said:  “COSLA are clear that the proposed legislation would not improve the educational attainment of young people, despite this being the goal of both local and Scottish Government.

“We are also clear that the proposals put our head teachers' role as leaders of learning communities at risk.

“The increase in bureaucracy that the proposals would bring has the potential of increasing the existing difficulties councils are experiencing with recruitment and retention.

“Ultimately, there are significant risks to the ideal of local democracy in Scotland and to our ability as councils to provide a multi-service approach to support our young people and their families.”

The Scottish Parliament’s Education and Skills Committee is set to review the evidence heard in meetings and focus groups next week.

On Monday, the committee met in Peterhead to hear from education directors from the Northern Alliance, which has been held up as an example of how regional collaborative bodies could work.

Laurence Findlay of Moray Council, who leads to Northern Alliance, told MSPs it had worked because it was a “coalition of the willing” with “distributed leadership” at all levels.

Maria Walker, director of education and children's services at Aberdeenshire Council, said: “The big thing for me is being clear about the different roles in Scottish education. We can be a bit clearer about who does what.”

 

Tags

Categories

Related Articles

Inspiring young women to take up STEM in school essential to redressing gender imbalances in the tech industry, says charity
17 June 2019

Women make up just 23 per cent of the Scottish tech workforce, but only 20 per cent of pupils studying National 5 Computing Science in secondary schools are female

The High Road: The Highlands since devolution
17 April 2019

Separated from the seats of power by more than just mere geography, what has devolution done for the Highlands to close the gap?

Associate feature: Winning on a level playing field
18 March 2019

Andre Reibig, senior policy officer at the Scottish Funding Council, on how the benefits of student participation in sport run much deeper than you might think

Related Sponsored Articles

Associate feature: The age of the multi-cloud is here
7 May 2019

BT explores how to manage the risks and rewards of the cloud in their infographic guide, offering advice for ensuring that the challenges don't hold you back 

Associate feature: Balance the risk and reward of the cloud
29 April 2019

A global cloud infrastructure offers many potential benefits, but also many challenges, and every organisation’s hybrid cloud strategy is unique. BT presents practical advice on getting the most...

Associate feature: Clouds are secure, are you using them securely?
23 April 2019

BT presents a complimentary copy of Gartner's report, which highlights how, through 2022, at least 95% of cloud security failures will be the customer's fault

Associate feature: Don’t let security cloud your views on digital transformation
16 April 2019

89 per cent of organisations say digital transformation is key to delivering their business strategy, and see a need to move to the cloud to achieve this. BT explains how to dispel myths about...

Share this page