School classroom scene with kids learning in background

Legislation for education reform published

The Scottish Government has announced that legislation has been published to create a new national qualifications body.

This will come alongside an independent inspectorate of schools, as part of educational reform across Scotland.

Replacing the Scottish Qualifications Authority will be Qualifications Scotland, thanks to the Education (Scotland) Bill. Should the bill be passed, the office of His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education in Scotland will also be established, with the office being given more independence to undertake the inspection functions that currently fall under the responsibility of Education Scotland.

As part of further reforms, Education Scotland’s role as the country’s national education agency will be ‘refocused’, with this meaning that it will take a lead on designing the curriculum, as well as delivery and improvement.

Education reform quote

Jenny Gilruth, Scottish Education Secretary, said:

“I am determined to drive further improvements across Scotland’s schools, and the changes being set out in this Bill will strengthen the national education landscape to better support pupils and teachers.

“The governance processes for the new national qualifications body will ensure the knowledge and experience of pupils and teachers are central to decisions taken on qualifications and assessment.

“Greater independence for the new inspectorate body will see the power to set the frequency and focus for inspections moving from Scottish Ministers to His Majesty’s Chief Inspector. This is a significant change and will increase confidence in the independent role of inspections in assessing and identifying strengths and areas for improvement across our education system.

“The Scottish Government’s programme of education and skills reform will drive improvement right across the education system. That’s why we’ve taken time to engage with learners, teachers and other professionals across the education and skills sector to ensure these changes meet the needs of future generations.”

The new education inspectorate is expected to become operational in Autumn 2025, and will be lead by the HM Chief Inspector once they have been appointed. Whilst it will operate independently, ministers will retain oversight authorities.

 

Image credit: iStock

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