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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-00921

  • Asked by: Kaukab Stewart, MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party
  • Date lodged: 18 June 2021
  • Current status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 21 June 2021


To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the OECD report on Curriculum for Excellence published on 21 June 2021, and what the implications of the report are in relation to the planned reform of the SQA and Education Scotland.


I welcome the OECD’s report and can confirm that the Scottish Government is accepting the OECD’s 12 recommendations in full.

Recommendation 3.2 of the OECD’s report identifies the need to simplify and better align the institutional structures that support our education system. I therefore intend to replace the SQA with a new, specialist agency and I am minded to make this new body responsible for both curriculum and assessment, to ensure clarity, coherence and alignment as recommended by the OECD. I would like to thank teachers and all SQA staff for all their ongoing efforts to deliver qualifications in challenging circumstances this year.

The report found that having the inspectorate as part of an organisation that is also responsible for supporting school leaders, curriculum design and support, teacher professional learning and a range of other initiatives is an “unusual configuration”.

It is therefore my intention to move the inspection function out of Education Scotland.

During my statement to Parliament tomorrow, I will provide more details on how this will be taken forward, along with our overall response to the report and the other recommendations. I can give an assurance that we will engage widely and will consult on plans for implementation.