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Scottish Education Council

Role of the group

The Scottish Education Council is the key forum for oversight of improvement in education in Scotland, as defined by the National Improvement Framework.

Its role is to work collaboratively to ensure that there is a system-wide focus on improvement and to agree priorities for improvement activity and delivery.

The Council will meet every two months.


The Council will:

  • bring together the main decision makers and key influencers with a strong focus on excellence and equity for all and be a forum for frank and open discussion about what is working and what and where more improvement is required
  • provide leadership and advice to Ministers in developing the strategic approach and vision for improvement across Scottish education, as defined by the National Improvement Framework
  • have a primary focus on issues related to the school years, but have the ability to focus on wider education issues as and when required, in particular early years, Getting it right for every child, Developing the Young Workforce and Community Learning and Development
  • provide guidance and advice at all levels of the system, working across organisational and structural boundaries to support the development of key improvement priorities for Scottish education and ensuring those priorities are reflected in national, local and regional planning
  • drawing on these local and regional plans and priorities, work with the Scottish Government to deliver the annual review of the National Improvement Framework and the National Improvement Plan
  • work closely with Regional Improvement Collaboratives via locally agreed governance arrangements to oversee progress towards delivery of those national, regional and local improvement priorities and outcomes, drawing on available evidence via the National Improvement Framework and local tracking and montoring systems
  • provide comment and professional advice on the strategic direction, vision and outcomes of the Scottish Attainment Challenge and Pupil Equity Funding
  • consider and provide advice on any proposed changes in Scottish education strategy, taking into account the advice offered by the International Council of Education Advisors and the Education Leaders Forum
  • take account of advice offered by, the Curriculum and Assessment Board and the Strategic Board for Teacher Education


  • Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills (Chair)
  • Councillor Stephen McCabe, COSLA Children and Young People spokesperson
  • Janet Brown, Scottish Qualifications Authority Chief Executive
  • Larry Flanagan, General Secretary, The Educational Institute of Scotland
  • Gayle Gorman, Chief Executive of Education Scotland and Chief Inspector of Education
  • Ken Muir, Chief Executive, General Teaching Council for Scotland
  • Joanna Murphy, Chair, National Parent Forum of Scotland
  • Morag Redford, Chair of the Scottish Council of Deans of Education
  • Fiona Robertson, Scottish Government, Director for Learning
  • Maureen McKenna, President of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES)
  • Jim Thewliss, General Secretary, School Leaders Scotland
  • Bernadette Malone, Chief Executive, Perth and Kinross Council
  • Sheena Devlin, Regional Improvement Collaborative Lead, Tayside Collaborative
  • Laurence Findlay, Regional Improvement Collaborative Lead, The Northern Alliance
  • Douglas Hutchison, Regional Improvement Collaborative Lead, South West Collaborative
  • Carrie Lindsay, Regional Improvement Collaborative Lead, South East Alliance
  • Robert Naylor, Regional Improvement Collaborative Lead, Forth Valley and West Lothian Collaborative
  • Mhairi Shaw, Regional Improvement Collaborative Lead, The West Partnership
  • Josh Traynor, young person, Glasgow, YoYP 2018 Communic18 Team
  • Cahal Menzies, young person, Broxburn, Creative Scotland National Youth Arts Advisory Group
  • Rowan Watkins, young person, Argyll and Bute, 5Rights Youth Commission
  • Olivia Stobart, young person, Edinburgh, 5Rights Youth Commission
  • Amelia Szypczynska, young person, South Queensferry, YoYP 2018 Communic18 Team