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By Diverse Means: Improving Scottish Education

By Diverse Means: Improving Scottish Education

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The RSE Education Committee has issued a response to the final report from the Commission on School Reform, By Diverse Means: Improving Scottish Education (reported on 4th March 2013).

The Commission was established by the Centre for Scottish Public Policy and Reform Scotland in November 2011 to consider whether the school system in Scotland is meeting the present and future needs of young people.

The RSE Education Committee welcomes the comprehensive report and hopes the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament will act on the Commission’s recommendations.
The RSE Education Committee has issued a response to the final report from the Commission on School Reform, By Diverse Means: Improving Scottish Education (reported on 4th March 2013).

The Commission was established by the Centre for Scottish Public Policy and Reform Scotland in November 2011 to consider whether the school system in Scotland is meeting the present and future needs of young people.

The RSE Education Committee welcomes the comprehensive report and hopes the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament will act on the Commission’s recommendations.

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Published by: The Royal Society of Edinburgh on Apr 23, 2013
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01/29/2014

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Briefing Paper 
(13–01)
 April 2013
1
Comments from the RSE Education Committee on the Commission on SchoolReform Report,
By Diverse Means:Improving Scottish Education
(March 2013)
TheReport
1
fromtheCommissiononSchoolReformiswelcomedasaprofounddocumentthatengagesthehistory,currentcircumstancesandfuturepossibilitiesofScottishschooleducation.TheCentreforScottishPublicPolicyandReformScotlandaretobecongratulatedforinitiatingthisenterprisethathasaprimeconcernabout
change
,ratherthanthetraditionalfocusondetailsofcurriculum,schoolorganisationandassessment.ThehopeisthattheScottishGovernmentandotherswillrespondrapidlytodecideontheimplementationoftheCommission’srecommendations.Inparticular,welookforwardtotheScottishParliament’sEducationandCultureCommitteeundertakingadetailedexaminationoftheReport,andtheScottishParliamentdebatingitasitdidinthecaseoftheLiteracyCommissionReport.TheRSEEducationCommittee’sresponseisfirmlypositivebecause:
>
TheReportisascomprehensiveasonepublicationcouldhopetobe(althoughitleavesplentyofworkanddevelopmentaheadforothers)andoffersanarrativethathasachieved
consensusacrossthevervariedperspectives
thatmadeupits15-strongauthorship.
>
Unlikemostreflectionsoneducation(oftenhobbledeitherbydeepconcernsorbycomplacencyaboutcurrentandpastpolicyandpractice),thisReportclearly
lookstothefuture.
>
Itanticipateswidedebatewithprioritiesforactioncontinuingformanyyearsasthereisincreasingimpactonschoolingfromthechallengesthatarisefrom
economicpriorities,globalisation,expanding scientificknowledge,technologychangesandinternationalcompetitiveness.
>
TheReportacknowledgesthehistoricallyhighreputationofScottisheducation,andacceptsthatitsschoolsstillhavesomestrengthsandofferasoundeducation.However,itusespersuasiveargumentandstrongsupportingevidencetocontendthatwearenolongeramongtheworld’sbestandareimprovingatamuchslowerratethanmanyofourcompetitors. Itemphasiseshow
changeand improvementtoyieldsecureprogressmustbeundertakenmuchmorerapidlythaninthepast.
>
ThereiswelcomesupportintheReportfor
CurriculumforExcellence(CfE)
asthemechanismforchange,togetherwithaclearstressontheimportanceof
 systematicreviewandmodificationofthedevelopments
asthisprogrammeevolves. CfEisfundamentallydifferentfromearlierapproachestochangeandshouldberegardedasarelatively
long-termprocessorjourney 
,notasaone-offevent.
>
Recommendationsaremadeforgovernmenttointroduceadequateandsystematic
independentevaluation.
ThesehavetheRSEEducationCommittee’sfirmsupportandincludethoseaspectsoftheprogrammewheretheresponsibilitylieswithEducationScotland.Thereis,forexample,aneedtoexaminetheoverallqualityoftheexperiencesandoutcomes,toclarifyanddevelopmultidisciplinaryandactivelearning,andtomoverapidlyfromtheheavytraditionalfocussolelyon
 successfullearners
andgivemoreattentiontothedevelopmentandassessmentoftheotherCfEcapacities:
confidentindividuals,responsiblecitizens
and
effectivecontributors.
1
http://reformscotland.com/publications/details/1664

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