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Young People

Our young people are successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens

Scots languageWhy is this National Outcome important?

From an early age children and young people are developing the four 'capacities' listed in the Outcome. When they make the transition into adulthood, these capacities are well established. The ambition is universal: the goal is to raise achievement across the population and for the gap between those who are the most and least successful to be reduced. Possession of these capacities enables children, young people and (subsequently) adults to thrive from an early age, and make a positive contribution in the 21st century.

What will influence this National Outcome?

Implementation of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) which is designed to focus all planned learning (in and outside schools) for all children and young people aged 3-18 on achievement of the four capacities.

  • The learning experience of children and young people - Curriculum for Excellence is raising standards of educational achievement, with increases in overall standards and the elimination of the tail of underachievement. It is about preparing children and young people for the challenges of life in the 21st century while building on the strengths of Scotland's education system.
  • Our teachers - They must build on existing excellent practices and improve the quality of learning and teaching to bring learning to life.
  • Improving literacy and numeracy - Raising literacy and numeracy standards is central to Curriculum for Excellence. Knowledge and skills in literacy and numeracy unlock access to the wider curriculum, increase opportunities for young people in all aspects of life and lay the foundations for lifelong learning and work.
  • Support for all - Most children and young people are served well by the Scottish educational system, but some need additional support to enable them to reach their full potential. We need to place the 'learner at the centre' and ensure that the support provided is appropriate, proportionate and timely. The entitlement to support in Curriculum for Excellence offers a vitally important opportunity to address significant challenges facing our children and young people.
  • Health & Wellbeing - We need to create a learning experience which encourages young people to think about their impact on the environment, to care about being healthy, to fulfil their potential and to contribute to society and the economy.

Implementation of the Concordat commitments to increase the number of children in primaries 1, 2 and 3 educated in class sizes of 18 or lower and to ensure that from August 2010, local authorities are able to begin working towards providing nutritious free school meals to all pupils in primary 1 to primary 3 will help to ensure children are able to get maximum benefit from their learning.

In addition, implementation of other Government frameworks designed to improve equality and life chances of all Scotland's people such as Getting it Right for Every Child, the Early Years Framework, Equally Well and the Anti-poverty framework will all have a key impact.

What is the Government's role?

It is important to recognise that standards of educational achievement are increasing rapidly across the world and Scotland needs to more than match the educational improvements achieved by our competitors. Government needs to set high ambitions for the education system.

Most of the activity that leads to improved outcomes for children and young people is delivered by local authorities and their community planning partners.

The normal approach to delivery is for Scottish Government and national bodies to work with representatives of local delivery partners to agree policy and then to ensure its effective delivery. In every case, we work with COSLA or their nominated representatives (often ADES - the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland) with other partners engaging depending on the specific context. Increasingly, national policy provides a broad framework but does not stipulate how the service is to be delivered. Responsibility for making detailed decisions about service delivery rests with local bodies and increasingly with front line professionals because they are best placed to decide how to achieve outcomes in particular local circumstances.

Government provides the leadership and investment required to ensure that learning in Scotland supports children and young people to be ambitious and able to contribute to Scotland's future prosperity as members of a creative workforce. We are building the right foundations by ensuring the availability of the necessary staff, buildings and other resources, quality assurance and other systems, processes and relationships. We are doing this by targeting HMIE scrutiny effort on curriculum for excellence, implementing the school estate strategy, establishing an effective parental engagement strategy and the National Parent Body, building strong relationships with local government, teacher representative organisations and ensuring there is a high quality teacher workforce.

Curriculum for Excellence Management Board, chaired and supported by SG officials, has overall responsibility for the delivery of the national elements of CfE and their local implementation. It includes representation from local authorities, teacher and headteacher associations, national bodies (such as Learning and Teaching Scotland, Scottish Qualifications Authority and Skills Development Scotland) and Colleges and Universities. ADES convene a network of local delivery partners that coordinates delivery activity across all 32 councils.

Related Strategic Objectives



Wealthier and Fairer

Young People