Informed Scotland June 2017 – Reforms, statistics & a few surprises


The most significant learning & skills item in June was the Scottish Government’s Education Governance report, setting out major changes for the school sector.

The plans made media and political headlines and prompted extremes of reaction. COSLA described the shift from the current local authority role as ‘concerning in every way’. The General Teaching Council for Scotland welcomed the focus on extending registration and regulation beyond teachers. And the Scottish Parent Teacher Council was pleased that the importance of parental engagement in schools was recognised, while raising concerns for cuts to the education service.

The strengthened role for Education Scotland, including taking over responsibility for leadership development from SCEL, caught more than a few by surprise.

John Swinney’s piece in Tes Scotland, Henry Hepburn’s Tes editorial and Prof Mark Priestley’s blog present different perspectives on the main issues and are worth a read.

The Scottish Government’s Enterprise & Skills Review Phase 2 report was also launched, although with no real surprises and prompting less of a stir.

June heralded the annual raft of statistical reports and surveys, including on school leavers, higher education leavers from HESA, and their academic experience from HEPI/HEA, Modern Apprenticeships from Skills Development Scotland (SDS), colleges from Audit Scotland, and the digital tech sector from SDS and the Digital Technologies Skills Group.

There was also the welcome return of the IFF Research Employer Perspectives Survey, which used to be published by the UK Commission for Employment & Skills before its demise, and is now managed for the UK by England’s Department for Education.

It’s also worth mentioning a couple of reports with some ‘eyebrow-raising’ findings: One on the impact of school subject choices on employment chances by the Applied Quantitative Methods Network at University of Edinburgh, and one on careers and progression for women in farming & agriculture by Newcastle University and James Hutton Institute.

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