Scottish government unveils education 'blueprint'

Image caption John Swinney said the plan would deliver a "world class" education system

Scottish schools could be given more power over their funding in measures announced by the Scottish government.

There are also plans to simplify the Curriculum for Excellence by January 2017 in the government's "blueprint" to improve education.

The Education Delivery Plan was unveiled by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

Mr Swinney said the proposals would deliver a "world class education system" in Scotland.

He also told MSPs it would "substantially close" the attainment gap over the next five years and aimed to reduce the workload on teachers.

Scottish government commitments on education

  • Close attainment gap over next five years
  • Launch review into devolving funding and decision-making to schools and communitites
  • Simplify Curriculum for Excellence and streamline teacher guidance
  • Invest in teachers
  • Move from "culture of judgement" to "system of judgement"

Source: Scottish government

Mr Swinney said the Scottish government would be "relentless" in its efforts to ensure every child had the same opportunities and an equal chance to succeed.

"We must ensure our curriculum, applauded by the OECD, can be delivered so that our teachers are free to teach and our children have the opportunity to learn.

"We will give teachers confidence about what the Curriculum for Excellence expects of them. We will de-clutter the curriculum and strip away anything that creates unnecessary workload for teachers and learners, and we will take forward a new programme of reducing workload in schools.

"I will directly oversee this activity supported by a panel of teachers whose voice and experience will inform what is taken forward."

The government's education plan will also seek to devolve funding and decision-making to schools and communities, as well as supporting the development of new educational regions.

Mr Swinney added: "Today marks the start of a new journey for Scottish education that will ensure we realise our ambition for excellence and equity for every child and young person in Scotland."

Scotland's biggest teaching union, the EIS, said it welcomed any measures that would "cut bureaucracy and reduce excessive workload".

But it also cautioned about any changes that led to greater centralisation.

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: "If there is any suggestion of centralising control of schools and reducing the role of democratically elected local authorities in running education, that would be an issue of huge concern for the teaching profession."

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