Education Reforms


About the Inquiry

These webpages will provide information on the pieces of work that the Committee undertakes on the Scottish Government's education reforms. 

The Scottish Government has stated that it will reform aspects of the structure of school education to support its goal of improving attainment and closing the attainment gap.   

The Scottish Government identified a number of areas where it will seek to make changes: 

• The legal framework where decisions are taken;
• Culture and capacity within the system;
• Collaboration between local authorities and schools;
• The way in which funding is distributed and staff are allocated to schools; and
• The level of bureaucracy. 

Some of these changes may require primary legislation (a bill) and the Scottish Government has indicated that it will introduce an Education (Scotland) Bill before the end of the 2017/18 Parliamentary year.  

The Committee is very interested in following and scrutinising these reforms and has decided to start doing so before the bill is introduced. 

In 2017 the Committee carried out an inquiry into Teacher Workforce Planning for Scotlands schools, this gave the Committee a context on recruitment and retention of teaching staff. The report and evidence gathered during this inquiry can be read here.

Key Scottish Government publications 

If you are interested in the Scottish Government's approach to these reforms, you may wish to read the following documents: 

Education Governance: Next Steps - Empowering Our Teachers, Parents and Communities to Deliver Excellence and Equity for Our Children (June 2017) 

Empowering Schools: A consultation on the provisions of the Education (Scotland) Bill (November 2017) 


The Committee's work on the reforms are likely to include a number of strands.  As the work develops, links to the webpages covering that work will be included below.

Education policy experts (late 2017)

The role of Education Scotland (13 December 2017)

Visits and Events

The Committee called for views on Education reforms and several external meetings were organised. The Committee held meetings and focus groups in Glasgow on 15 January 2018 and in Peterhead on 29 January 2018. Read the notes from the groups below. 

A delegation of the Committee visited Sweden and Finland in March 2018.  The purpose of the visit was to learn more about those countries education systems and experiences of reform.


The convener received a letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills regarding the launch of  the Empowering Schools: A Consultation on the Provisions of the Education (Scotland) Bill.

On 8 February 2018, the Committee sent a letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills setting out the work the Committee had undertaken on the Government's proposals and highlighting key themes.

On 26 June 2018, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills made a statement to Parliament to announce that the Scottish Government would not introduce legislation and would pursue its policy aims through non-legislative means.  On the same day, the Cabinet Secretary wrote to the Committee.


The Committee received a number of submissions.  Please note, the submissions received prior to evidence sessions in November and December are listed on the webpages for those evidence sessions, above.

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