First Formal Report of the International Council of Education Advisors

Published on: Author: Mark Murphy Leave a comment

The International Council of Education Advisers (ICEA) has made 19 recommendations to further strengthen the Scottish education system.

Overall the council is supportive of the direction that Scotland’s reforms are taking, and it commends the core ambition of raising achievement and ensuring every child has an equal chance to succeed, regardless of their background.

In the council’s first formal report, it highlights progress made to date but also identifies the challenges in transforming the Scottish education system to devolve even more power and resources to schools.

The council:
•     commends the Scottish Government for its continued support of Curriculum for Excellence

•     notes the importance of the Scottish Attainment Challenge funding and progress being made as a result, with a recommendation that this work is continued and sustained

•     recommends that Scotland’s strong track-record of collaboration and consensus remains the central focus of improvement, with further thought given to whether a legislative approach is essential

•     welcomes the potential the Regional Improvement Collaboratives provide for capacity building and as a source of lasting cultural change

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“The advice and guidance the International Council of Education Advisers provides is vital in realising our ambition to learn lessons from around the world and ensure Scotland is a global leader in education.

Their invaluable expertise and wide range of perspectives have helped to drive real improvement within our education system, challenging and scrutinising our plans each step of the way to ensure we are making the right decisions to improve outcomes for our young people.

We will now consider the recommendations in the report in full, using them to inform our National Improvement Plan, as we continue our ambitious journey of empowerment and devolution to drive improvement in Scottish education.”

Professor Chris Chapman, speaking on behalf of the International Council of Education Advisors said:

“The International Council has drawn on the research-base and experiences across a range of education systems to inform our advice to the Scottish Government. A key part of our early work has been to engage with a range of stakeholders, and to visit schools in different settings to gain an understanding of the Scottish context.

“We believe that the conditions for success are dependent on a number of factors including: focusing on building on the strengths of the current Scottish education system, ensuring there is the collective will from all involved to move forward together and that teachers and school leaders are empowered to ensure that all children achieve their full potential irrespective of where they come from.

We consider that the establishment of Regional Improvement Collaboratives provides the mechanism to embed and extend collaborative improvement across Scotland. The coherence and cohesion of these efforts offers a once in a generation opportunity to transform Scottish education.”

The International Council of Education Advisers (ICEA) was established in 2016 to advise Ministers on how best to achieve excellence and equity in our Scottish education system.

Professor Christopher Chapman PhD MA BSc (Hons) FRSA
+44 (0)7702 918922

Director, Policy Scotland
Co-Director, What Works Scotland

Children’s Neighbourhoods Scotland

College of Social Sciences and School of Education

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