Informed Scotland June 2018 – School reforms, skills gaps & Brexit


The hottest topic in June was the Scottish Government’s last minute decision to ‘park’ the Education (Scotland) Bill, choosing instead to work with local authorities in a joint agreement to ‘fast-track’ school reforms.

The surprise shelving of the Bill (the Draft of which was still published) received mixed reactions, being described as both ‘welcome’ and ‘a shambles’.

In contrast, the decision not to create an Education Workforce Council has been widely welcomed, with the General Teaching Council for Scotland noting the recognition given to the value and benefits of its work. The National Parent Forum of Scotland, however, was disappointed that parental involvement legislation won’t be updated.

The first formal report by the International Council of Education Advisers was also published. One of its 19 recommendations – for a ‘collaborative’ rather than a ‘legislative’ route to school improvement – is acknowledged as influencing the government’s decision.

Brexit appears on our front cover for the first time, as organisations assess and prepare for its potential impact right across the learning & skills landscape.

It is one of the challenges highlighted by City & Guilds in its informative People Power report, which examines employers’ views of whether the UK economy has the skilled people it needs for the future.

Brexit is also mentioned by Audit Scotland in this year’s Scotland’s Colleges report, as a factor with potential risk to colleges’ future financial sustainability.

As usual in June, a bundle of statistical reports and annual surveys was published, including on school leavers and looked after children, on higher education leavers from HESA and their academic experience from HEPI, and on apprenticeships from SDS.

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