6. A clear national framework and building professional capacity in education
It is important that every part of Scottish education understands the role it plays in empowering our professionals and creating the collaborative and innovative culture required to ensure Scottish education can be amongst the highest performing in the world.
National government is responsible for setting clear priorities for Scottish education. Getting it Right for Every Child, Curriculum for Excellence, Developing the Young Workforce, the National Improvement Framework and the Scottish Attainment Challenge are part of the national framework which the Scottish Government has put in place to support improvement and deliver excellence and equity.
The Scottish Government aims to provide clarity and purpose in the actions we take and this is demonstrated through our Delivery Plan for Scotland: Delivering Excellence and Equity in Scottish Education. We are rightly ambitious for our children and young people and want to provide the right support and challenge to our education system to ensure our teachers and practitioners can deliver. We also want national priorities to be joined-up across different policy areas and for there to be coherence and alignment.
We are taking a whole system approach. This means that in addition to taking action to empower schools and communities and strengthen the middle, we must consider the role of national government, other national bodies and the wider framework (including, but not limited to, the legislative framework) which supports Scottish education. This includes considering the functions of the range of national bodies which support the delivery of Scottish education such as Education Scotland, the Scottish Qualifications Authority, the General Teaching Council for Scotland, the Scottish College of Educational Leadership, the Care Inspectorate and the Scottish Social Services Council.
Leadership and support for learning comes from different places in Scottish education: the Scottish Government, local authorities, other bodies such as Education Scotland, the Care Inspectorate, the Scottish Qualifications Authority, the General Teaching Council for Scotland and the Scottish College of Educational Leadership, universities; through joint governance arrangements such as the Curriculum for Excellence Management Board; within schools themselves; through regional local authority partnerships; and a wide range of other relationships.
We need to ensure the Scottish Government and other national bodies provide the right support to deliver the empowered and flexible education system we want to see. They must support the empowerment of our teachers and build their capacity to drive improvement and raise the attainment and achievement of children and young people.
What services or support functions should be delivered at a national level?
Teachers and practitioners access a range of support starting with their accredited qualifications and via continuous professional development throughout their careers. This support is currently provided within schools and early learning and childcare settings and through formal provision such as training opportunities provided by a range of different bodies. Professional learning is both an expectation and an entitlement. In seeking to empower practitioners and teachers we must ensure that they can all access high-quality development opportunities.
The Scottish Government is committed to strengthening the professional leadership of Curriculum for Excellence, as recommended by the OECD and bold new ways of thinking are required. We are committed to encouraging school clusters and other forms of collaboration and networking amongst teachers, practitioners, schools, early learning and childcare settings and the wider community, including employers, colleges and universities, to drive improvement across Scottish education.
How should governance support teacher education and professional learning in order to build the professional capacity we need?
Email: Tracey McRae, email@example.com