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Raising attainment

Published: 29 Oct 2015 00:01
Part of:

Education Bill to underpin reforms.

Efforts to close the attainment gap in Scotland will be intensified by the Scottish Government's Education (Scotland) Bill, which is continuing its legislative journey through Parliament.

The Bill contains provisions placing a duty on local authorities to prioritise activity aimed at closing the gap in educational outcomes between Scotland's most and least advantaged young people.

The legislation also contains measures to:

  • enhance children's right by extending the rights of children aged 12+ with capacity under the Additional Support for Learning Act 2004
  • promote Gaelic education by placing a duty on councils both to assess the need for Gaelic medium primary education following a parental request and to actively promote and support learning and teaching of the language in schools
  • ensure that all teachers in Scottish schools are appropriately trained and qualified by requiring all teaching staff within independent and grant aided schools to be registered with the General Teaching Council Scotland
  • improve the process, under section 70 of the 1980 Education Act, for dealing with complaints about councils failing in their education duties, and
  • ensure senior managers within councils have the necessary qualifications and experience by providing for the creation of a Chief Education Officer post.

Speaking ahead of a Stage 1 debate on the Bill, Education Secretary Angela Constance said:

"We are absolutely committed to ensuring Scotland is the best place to grow up, with every child given the best chance to succeed. Our Bill brings forward a range of measures that aim to improve our education system, building the next phase of Curriculum for Excellence with raising attainment a key priority.

"This year, we have invested more than £11 million through our Scottish Attainment Challenge to target intensive support for young people in some of Scotland's most-deprived communities. Our Access to Education fund has also seen a further £1.5 million invested this year to support learning and raise attainment in schools across Scotland. We are also developing a National Improvement Framework that will make sure that all of us working to support Scotland's young people have the best evidence to see where we are succeeding and where we need to do more. We can, and will, continue to do more to build on this.

"Our Bill outlines clear expectations for local and national governments in the process of addressing educational inequality, while introducing reforms in a range of other key areas. I look forward to the continuing scrutiny of the Bill by Parliament."