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National Dossier on Education and Training in Scotland 2004


Education and Training in Scotland National Dossier 2004

CHAPTER 2 - General Organisation of the Education System and Administration of Education

Compulsory Descriptors

Educational Administration

The sections of this chapter describe the national and local arrangements for the administration of education in Scotland. There is no longer a regional level of administration, since the creation of the 32 local authorities on 1 April 1996.

2.1 Historical Overview

Compulsory Descriptors

Historical Perspective

Additional Descriptors (x to left denotes that additional descriptor is covered below)


Educational Reform


Educational Policy


Educational Legislation

Education in Scotland has a long and distinguished history. By the end of the 15th century, for example, Scotland already had three universities (St Andrew's, established in 1411; Glasgow, established in 1451; and Aberdeen, established in 1495). Schools run by the Church already existed in the Middle Ages but by the 16th century the burghs (towns) were also founding schools. In 1560 the Protestant reformer, John Knox, called for the setting up of elementary schools in every parish. Over the 17th century the Scottish Parliament passed several Acts encouraging the establishment of schools. The final Act of the series, in 1696, believed to be the world's first national education act, provided for a school in every parish, a fixed salary for the teacher and financial arrangements to cover the cost.

Over the years many schools were established in Scotland, some by the churches and others by the larger towns, by societies and by individuals, with the result that in large areas of the country by the mid-19th century a very large proportion of the population was literate. However, after the Scottish Parliament was merged with the Westminster Parliament in 1707, major Government intervention in the education system of Scotland was curtailed. It was not resumed until 1840, when the first inspector of schools for Scotland was appointed.

In 1864 a Commission was set up to examine the state of education in Scotland and this led to the most important event in education in Scotland in the 19th century, the Education (Scotland) Act of 1872. This Act created a Board of Education for Scotland, established the responsibility of parents to see that all children between the ages of 5 and 13 received education and provided for the funding of education from the local property tax. The Act thus took education out of the hands of the churches and made it the responsibility of local elected bodies, the School Boards. It allowed the right to opt out of religious education. The Act also established the principle that all head teachers should hold a certificate of competency to teach and that all teachers should be trained. At first fees were charged for attendance at school but free primary education was introduced in 1890. The age for compulsory education was extended to 14 in 1901.

The Scotch (later Scottish) Education Department, which came under the control of the new office of Secretary for Scotland, created in 1885, was at first located in London and did not move to Edinburgh until 1922. Its formation, however, took Scottish education along quite a different path of development from the educational system of England and Wales. The most striking developments in the period up to 1945 were the establishment of a single external examination system for Scotland in 1888; the founding of more than 200 new secondary schools in the period between 1900 and 191; and the creation of 36 local education authorities in 1918 to replace the unwieldy system of almost 1,000 School Boards. In addition, and very significantly, the schools which were still owned and run by the Roman Catholic Church came into the state education system in 1918, on condition that they be allowed to continue to operate as denominational schools. By the Education (Scotland) Act of 1936 the important decision was taken to define Scottish primary education as covering the seven years from age 5 to age 12 and to separate it clearly from secondary.

The period immediately after the Second World War saw the publication of major reports reviewing primary and secondary education and the eventual implementation of their recommendations laid the foundation of the present system. A major aim was to provide educational opportunity for all pupils.

Many of these developments were not put in place until the 1960s. In primary schools change was brought about through the curriculum. Primary Education in Scotland (often referred to as 'The Primary Memorandum'), published in 1965, set out a curriculum for the primary school designed to catch the interest of children of a wide range of abilities. It proposed teaching methods which were suitable for mixed-ability classes, enabling children to proceed at different rates in the same class. The removal of selection for secondary education at age 12 also played an important part in breaking down a system in which pupils in larger schools had been streamed by ability. In secondary education the aim of equal educational opportunity was met through the change from selective to comprehensive schools.

At the same time changes in the public examination system made it more accessible to a larger number and led to consequent changes in curriculum. Particularly important during this period was the fact that teachers became officially involved in planning the new curricula and in developing the examination system through membership of specific working parties, the Scottish Examination Board (SEB) (now the Scottish Qualifications Authority) and the Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum (SCCC) (now Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS)). The 1960s also saw the rapid expansion of vocational further education provision, not only through evening classes but, more importantly, through full-time and day-release courses, taught in almost 50 new further education colleges.

In secondary education changes continued throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The process of providing secondary education for all was taken further by the publication in 1977 of two very significant reports entitled The Curriculum in the Third and Fourth Years of the Scottish Secondary School (The Munn Report) and Assessment for All (The Dunning Report). The latter report provided the basis for the current examination system at age 16, which has the aim of providing for the whole school population at school leaving age. In vocational further education the introduction of the National Certificate for non-advanced further education courses, the responsibility of a new Scottish Vocational Education Council (SCOTVEC) (now merged with the SEB to form the SQA), had a similar broad aim.

As these changes were taking place, schools and colleges developed sophisticated guidance, counselling and careers advisory services. In addition, there were substantial developments in educational research, mainly through the Scottish Council for Research in Education (SCRE), and support was given in the area of new technology. Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS) (formerly the Scottish Council for Educational Technology (SCET)) is responsible for promoting and assisting development in this latter area, in particular in ICT, open and distance learning, media education and learning resources.

During the 1980s the Government introduced measures to involve parents more in the education of their children, leading to the formation of School Boards and the publication of a Parents' Charter (1991, revised in 1995).

Changes and developments to make education more widely available and more effective continued in the 1990s in higher education and further education, as well as in the other sectors. During this period there was an increase in the number of universities. The Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC) and the Scottish Further Education Funding Council (SFEFC) were established in 1992 and 1999 respectively.

Looking to the future in a constantly changing world, the Scottish Executive Education Department recently held a National Debate on Education. The debate was launched in March 2002 and the discussion phase ran until the end of June. It is estimated that 20,000 people participated directly in the Debate. An independent team of researchers at the University of Edinburgh analysed the responses and the main themes expressed by those who provided feedback were reported to the Scottish Parliament in October 2002. The Executive published its response to the Debate - Educating for Excellence - on 29 January 2003. All National Debate documents are available on the website at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/nationaldebate/.

The origins of community learning and development in Scotland lie largely in the voluntary sector, with the emergence of non governmental youth work and adult education organisations in the early 20 th century. These included such bodies as the Scouts and the Workers' Educational Association. University extra mural departments and further education colleges have also long been involved in supporting non-vocational adult learning. Since the Second World War local authorities have become significant providers of outreach adult learning, community development and youth services.

Following the Alexander Report in 1975 (Adult Education: The Challenge of Change) all local education authorities established integrated community education services. This period also witnessed the expansion of adult literacy provision. In 1998 the Scottish Office reviewed community education and issued SO Circular 4/99 to promote the development of joint community learning strategies and local planning arrangements between the public and voluntary sectors. In June 2002 the Scottish Executive published Community Learning and Development: The Way Forward, which outlines current Scottish Executive policy in this area.

2.2 Ongoing Debates

Compulsory Descriptors

Reform Proposal

A number of general developments are relevant to both primary and secondary schools. These are summarised here.

- Reduction of Class Sizes. In May 2003 the Scottish Executive announced its intention to increase teacher numbers to 53,000 by 2007 and increase support staff, mostly in secondary schools. They will target these additional teachers on reducing class sizes to a maximum of 20 in Secondary 1 (aged 12/13) and Secondary 2 (aged 13/14) for Maths and English, 25 in Primary 1 (aged 5) by 2007 and increasing the number of specialists working across the boundary between secondary and primary.

- Integrated Community Schools. An important development since 2002 has been the commitment to roll out the Integrated Community School approach to all Scottish schools by 2007. This approach aims to raise standards and promote social inclusion. While there is no single model for Integrated Community Schools, most bring several existing schools together to work as a cluster, with a team of professionals providing a range of services including education, social work, family support and health education. Integration of services is a key feature of these schools and the Scottish Executive is committed to rolling out the new integrated school approach to every school by 2007, and is making 78m available between 2002-03 and 2005-06 to support this development.

- New powers to ensure improvement in schools. In November 2003 the Scottish Executive announced proposed legislation that would give Ministers new powers to act where education authorities do not make improvements recommended by school inspectors. Under the proposed legislation they will also be given extra powers to ensure improvements in independent schools. Plans were set out in the consultation paper Ensuring Improvement in Our Schools and an accompanying draft Parliamentary Bill.

- Curriculum Reform. In May 2003 the Scottish Executive announced its intention to reform and simplify the curriculum to increase pupil choice and make learning more stimulating. The plan is to introduce more flexibility in the curriculum for 3-6 year olds, improve pupils' confidence and attainment by changing the ethos of P1, freeing up the curriculum, introducing less formal teaching methods and enabling early professional intervention. This follows an undertaking to review the curriculum included in the response to the National Debate on Education document Educating for Excellence.

- Assessment. In September 2003 that Scottish Executive announced its intention to replace current system of 5-14 national tests with assessment procedures and a bank of assessment materials which place a greater emphasis on formative assessment and supporting and improving learning. The Minister also announced his intention to replace the annual 5-14 Assessment of Achievement (AAP) with a new Scottish Survey of Achievement (SSA) to provide a more complete and robust picture of national attainment and achievement. This also follows an undertaking to review assessment included in the response to the National Debate on Education document Educating for Excellence. Some of these proposals relating to assessment are currently being piloted and consulted upon.

2.3 Fundamental Principles and Basic Legislation

Compulsory Descriptors

Educational Legislation, Principles of Education

The principles which underpin Scottish education and the relevant legislation are set out in separate sub-sections below. Because they relate closely to educational principles, this section also includes the current National Priorities in school education, a description of the role of the National Grid for Learning and one of investment in school building. The principles are not laid down by law. They are partly a reflection of Government policy and partly a consensus view as set out in the many reports and advisory documents produced by the system. They are the basis of educational practice. The legislation is mainly concerned with the administration and organisation of the system.

Principles of Education

Education in Scotland has always enjoyed a high status and most of the key principles/values on which it is built are long established. The provision of free, compulsory education for all within a specified age group (currently 5-16) is fundamental. So, too, is the broadly based curriculum, which originally was designed to ensure that young people could survive and make progress in any one of several occupations. It now prepares them, with certification, for the several changes of job that they may well have to face in an era of rapid socio-economic development.

Education also has to fit individual needs, be tailored to 'age, ability and aptitude' and aim to develop the 'personality, talents and mental and physical abilities of children and young persons to their fullest potential' (Standards in Scotland's Schools etc Act Scotland 2000). Concern to ensure that classroom work properly challenges and supports all pupils and the increased attention to young people with additional support needs, whether in mainstream schooling or special units, are examples of the extension of this principle of appropriateness.

A further principle is that there should be opportunities to continue voluntarily at school or to proceed to further or higher education, with financial assistance if necessary. Since the Second World War this opportunity has been considerably extended by increasing the number of places available in further and higher education. There has also been expansion in informal education, with greater attention being given, for example, to community-based educational activities for both adults and young people.

Society, however, also has claims on the education system. Education for participation in a changing society implies that all learners have to identify their own needs, as far as possible, and become responsible for their own learning. Society requires an educated populace to create the wealth which can bring stability, progress and innovation. It also needs people who can provide the services which allow society to sustain its growth, maintain its health and well-being and offer the range of cultural and leisure activities which bring enrichment and satisfaction. It depends on people who act as custodians of its values and stewards of its resources. In particular, this entails willing and responsible participation in the democratic process by which society regulates itself in response to changes in social, economic and cultural circumstances. The Scottish education system is therefore expected to promote the autonomy of individuals and at the same time to equip them, on the basis of interdependence, to fulfil the variety of roles which society demands.

Current National Priorities in School Education

The Standards in Scotland's Schools etc. Act 2000 set out a framework for improving the performance of schools. Within this framework, the local authorities are required to publish plans showing improvement objectives for the schools in their areas. The schools themselves are required to publish development plans taking into account the improvement objectives set by their local authority. Both authorities and schools are also required to publish annual reports on progress.

Under section 4 of the Act the Scottish Ministers were required to define national priorities in school education. The 5 priorities define the high-level outcomes which education authorities and their schools have to deliver for young people and all have equal status. They are:

  • Achievement and Attainment
    to raise standards of educational attainment for all in schools, especially in the core skills of literacy and numeracy; and to achieve better levels in national measures of achievement, including examination results;
  • Framework for Learning
    to support and develop the skills of teachers and the self-discipline of pupils, and to enhance school environments so that they are conducive to teaching and learning;
  • Inclusion and Equality
    to promote equality and help every pupil benefit from education, with particular regard paid to pupils with disabilities and additional educational needs, and to Gaelic and other lesser used languages;
  • Values and Citizenship
    to work with parents to teach pupils respect for self and one another and their interdependence with other members of their neighbourhood and society; and to teach them the duties and responsibilities of citizenship in a democratic society; and
  • Learning for Life
    to equip pupils with the foundation skills, attitudes and expectations necessary to prosper in a changing society; and to encourage creativity and ambition.

A summary of the 2002 position in respect of these priorities at national and local authority levels across Scotland was published in the National Priorities Performance Report 2003.

National Grid for Learning (NGfL)

The Scottish Executive, through its financial support of the National Grid for Learning (NGfL) in Scotland, seeks to raise the standards of schools by supporting, sustaining and renewing Information and Communications Technology (ICT) developments in schools as well as developing the ICT skills of teachers and pupils. Since its launch in 1998, the NGfL has received funding of more than 130m.

The NGfL programme has had a major impact on access to ICT in schools .It has moved pupil:computer ratios from 34:1 in primary schools and 12:1 in secondary schools (1998) to 9:1 and 5:1 ( 2002). It has helped 19,000 teachers to buy their own computers and provided extensive training opportunities through the 'Computers for Teachers' scheme, funded by the National Lottery. Between 1999 and 2002, 44,000 teachers enrolled for the New Opportunities Fund (NOF) ICT training (93% of the teacher population). In the period since Spring 1999, NOF has made available a total of 23m for the ICT training of teachers and school librarians.

The Masterclass initiative is a programme of staff development which began in 2002. It has built on the NOF training to produce more than 600 local ICT champions to help local authorities integrate ICT into their corporate professional development plans. In addition the Scottish Executive, in partnership with Learning and Teaching Scotland, is carrying out a major programme of digital content procurement for 2003-2004.

The latest key development for the NGfL (Scotland) is the establishment of the Scottish Schools' Digital Network (SSDN), which will provide a range of intranet features for Scottish schools delivered via a national interconnect (completed in November 2003). The SSDN will enable teachers, learners, parents and school managers to work in new ways and collaborate, helping to enhance the school environment and introducing exciting new ways of learning and teaching. Procurement of the national schools' intranet began in November 2003, with full implementation planned by the end of 2005.

School Buildings

Through education all children can have the best chance to develop, to learn, and to fulfil their future potential. As well as teachers and pupils, the built environment contributes to the learning experience. The school has a big impact on a child's development - it should be a modern, safe, secure environment, where children can learn and grow. In order to facilitate this, the Scottish Executive has launched the biggest ever school building programme in Scotland. There has been a significant increase in the level of investment, with the aim of providing an appropriate learning environment for the future. The Minister for Education and Young People announced a 1.15 billion package of investment in June 2002 through 15 public private partnership projects (PPP) to build schools. This investment will lead to rebuilding or significant refurbishment of 300 schools across Scotland over the next few years.

In March 2003 Ministers announced stage two of this package of PPP investment, supporting a further 748 million of capital investment. This stage should result in the improvement of around 75 school buildings in 9 more local authority areas. The Executive will continue discussion with 5 other Authorities about further development of their proposed PPP projects. Other substantial ongoing investment includes the Schools Fund and general local authority capital expenditure on schools.

The Scottish Executive and CoSLA published Building Our Future: Scotland's School Estate, a long-term strategy for school building and maintenance, in February 2003. This sets out a vision to achieve a well built, well designed and well managed set of school buildings over the long term. It includes a strategic framework to implement that vision locally by creating buildings that meet the needs of children and sustaining quality over time. The Scottish Executive, in partnership with local authorities and others, is now taking forward work on more detailed issues, such as guidance on the management of school buildings and initiatives to promote shared learning.

Educational Legislation

The basic legal framework for education in Scotland consists of a series of Education (Scotland) Acts, which are Acts of Parliament of the United Kingdom but apply specifically and only to Scotland. With the exception of a few sections which make deliberate reference to Scotland, Education Acts for England and Wales do not apply. The Education (Scotland) Acts are supplemented by regulations which have the force of law. They assume, unless they specifically state the contrary, that the provisions of existing Acts which deal with educational matters are still in force. New features of the system and changes to it are often introduced in separate Acts which exist alongside the Education Acts. Some very important provisions for education are in Acts which are not primarily concerned with education. The situation is therefore very complex. Following devolution, new legislation dealing with education is a matter for the Scottish Parliament.

In Scotland the Education Acts are mainly concerned with the organisation and administration of education, giving powers to certain bodies, for example to the Scottish Ministers to make regulations or to education authorities or to Her Majesty's Inspectors of Education in connection with the provision of education. Regulations also tend to deal with administrative matters, but in more detail than the legislation. They cover, for example, matters concerned with the organisation of schools, as in the Schools (General) Regulations 1975, certain aspects of provision for pupils with additional support needs, and the Scottish Ministers' control over the training of teachers, as in the Teachers (Education, Training and Recommendation for Registration) (Scotland) Regulations 1993. Currently, curriculum is not governed by legislation in Scotland, apart from the stipulation that religious education is compulsory, unless parents withdraw their children from it.

The Education (Scotland) Act 1980 and subsequent legislation

The current Education Act is the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, as amended in 1981 and subsequently by other legislation. Amongst other things, this Act gives power to education authorities to provide pre-school education, lays down the ages between which education is compulsory, lays a duty on parents to see that their child is educated and on education authorities to make provision for education. It entitles pupils to receive education appropriate to their 'age, ability and aptitude', to receive guidance in secondary schools and to be supported as necessary by psychological, health and social work services. It was amended in 1981 to give parents the right to choose the school to which to send their children and set up the assisted places scheme for independent schools (a scheme which is now being phased out). It also made some far-reaching changes in the way in which provision was made for children with additional support needs by establishing the Record of Needs and set up machinery for determining the pay and conditions of service of teachers.

The Education (Scotland) Act 1996 is concerned with setting up of a new examination authority - the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) - to take the place of the Scottish Examination Board (SEB) and the Scottish Vocational Education Council (SCOTVEC); paying grants to providers of pre-school education for children; some changes to the School Boards Act; granting powers to the Secretary of State (now the Scottish Ministers) to introduce regulations concerning testing and assessment in the first two years of secondary education; and one or two minor administrative matters.

Further and Higher Education and Community Learning and Development

Further education and higher education are the subject of a separate Act, the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 1992, which established a new structure for these sectors of education. Community learning and development is subject to Section 1 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 and the Further and Higher education (Scotland) Act 1992.

Other Acts dealing specifically with education

A number of other Scottish Acts, currently in force, are concerned with education. The Teaching Council (Scotland) Act 1965 gave power to the General Teaching Council to keep a register of teachers in Scotland and established registration as an essential requirement for teachers in Scotland. The Education (Mentally Handicapped Children) (Scotland) Act 1974 brought profoundly mentally handicapped children within the responsibility of the education service and made it possible to provide education for children who were previously thought to be ineducable. The School Boards (Scotland) Act 1988 gave schools the opportunity of forming a School Board.

The Standards in Scotland's Schools etc Scotland Act 2000 gave every child in Scotland a right to education for the first time, outlined measures to modernise the teaching profession and enhance its status, and established a framework of improvement for school education. The framework includes a new set of National Priorities for school education (see above in this section). The Great Britain Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 gives students with disabilities the right to be included alongside their peers, on the same educational programmes, in the same institutions. The Education (Disability Strategies and Pupils' Educational Records) (Scotland) Act 2002 requires education providers to improve accessibility to school facilities and the curriculum for pupils with disabilities.

Several of the above Acts also contain specific provisions for education other than the main provision mentioned here.

Other Acts with provisions affecting education

Several Acts which are not primarily concerned with education, such as the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968, the Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation) Act 1986, the Children Act 1989 and the Children (Scotland) Act 1995, also have implications for the Scottish education system and the organisation and administration of schools and colleges.

2.4 General Structure and Defining Moments in Educational Guidance

Compulsory Descriptors

Education System

Additional Descriptors (x to left denotes that additional descriptor is covered below)


Duration of Studies


Transition from primary to lower secondary school


Transition from lower to upper secondary school


Transition from upper secondary to higher education

3-5Pre-school education (optional)Pre-school education providers in public, private or voluntary sector
5-12Primary education (compulsory)Primary schools
12-16Secondary education,4 years (compulsory)Secondary schools (comprehensive and co-educational)
14Guidance offered to pupils to help them select subjects for continuing study in years S3 and S4 from within a general framework
15Guidance offered to pupils to help them select subjects for study in upper secondary or further education college, or to choose an appropriate training course or find employment
16-18Upper secondary education (optional)

Secondary schools (comprehensive and co-educational)
Education 16-18 can also take place in FE colleges

Subjects are studied at different levels for National Qualifications in S5 and S6
17Guidance is offered in relation to continuing study in S6 or transition to further or higher education or to training or to employment at the end of S5
18Guidance is offered in relation to further or higher education, training or employment at the end of S6
Training (vocational)
Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQ)By independent providers or in FE colleges
Further educationFurther education colleges
Courses are either non-advanced or advanced.
Non-advanced courses comprise:
Vocational and general studies
Pre-employment courses
Link courses for school pupils
Off-the-job training for employees
Advanced courses comprise:
Higher National Certificate courses
Higher National Diploma courses
Discrete or franchised degree courses
Higher educationHigher education institutions
(including universities and all FE colleges)
Courses offered comprise:
Degree level courses
Higher National Certificate courses
Higher National Diploma courses
Professional training courses

The branches of study at each stage are indicated in the relevant sections for Pre-primary education (3.10), Primary Education (4.10), Secondary Education (5.13), Tertiary Education (6.11) and Community Learning and Development (7.10).

2.5 Compulsory Education

Compulsory Descriptors

Compulsory Education

Additional Descriptors (x to left denotes that additional descriptor is covered below)


School Entry Age

In Scotland, in accordance with the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, parents or guardians are legally responsible for ensuring that their children of school age receive efficient education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude. They normally fulfil this duty by sending their child to school, although other means, such as education at home, can be used. The state provides free public schools and supporting services through the education authorities. Parents may also choose to send their children to independent (private) schools for which they pay fees.

The law broadly defines a person as being 'of school age' if he or she has attained the age of 5 years and has not attained the age of 16. Many younger children voluntarily attend nursery schools before beginning primary school at age 5. Pupils transfer to secondary at around 12 and many stay on after the age of 16 for one or two additional years before proceeding to training or post-school education in further education (FE) colleges or higher education (HE) institutions. Pupils may also leave at 16. In 2001-2002 about 70% of 16-year-olds stayed on in school and 62% of 17-year-olds stayed on in full-time education, either in school or further education or higher education.

Schools are required by law to keep a register of the names of all pupils and to record their attendance in the morning and afternoon of each day of the school year. An absence from school normally requires to be explained by a letter from the parent giving a reason for it. Education authorities have means of monitoring the attendance of pupils and have officers who follow up pupils who are consistently absent or whose reasons for absence are regarded as insufficient. Parents may be prosecuted if their children do not attend school regularly.

2.6 General Administration

Compulsory Descriptors

Organising Body

Additional Descriptors (x to left denotes that additional descriptor is covered below)





Although the Scottish Executive plays an important part in the administration of Scottish education, many of the executive powers are, for school education, devolved to the education authorities and in some cases to the schools themselves. In further education the institutions themselves are responsible for most of their own administration, as is the case in higher education. However, in both further education and higher education a role is played by the Scottish Further Education Funding Council (SFEFC) and the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC) respectively, which are responsible for the allocation of funding and for quality assurance.

2.6.1 General Administration at National Level

Compulsory Descriptors

Central Government

Additional Descriptors (x to left denotes that additional descriptor is covered below)


Ministry of Education



The Minister for Education and Young People and the Minister for Enterprise, Transport, and Lifelong Learning are directly responsible to the Scottish Parliament for the overall supervision and development of the education and training services in Scotland and for legislation affecting Scottish education and training. Education and training policy is developed in line with the policies of the Scottish Executive and is administered by the Scottish Executive Education Department (SEED) and the Scottish Executive Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning Department (SEETLLD). The Scottish Further Education Funding Council (SFEFC) is responsible for the funding of teaching and a certain amount of research in the 46 FE colleges, as is the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC) for the funding of teaching and some research in the 22 Scottish HE institutions.

The Ministers for Social Justice, Education and Young People and Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning share responsibility for community learning and development policy. The Scottish Executive Development Department (SEDD), together with SEETLLD and SEED administer policy in this area. Communities Scotland established in 2001 is an Executive Agency with responsibility for supporting community learning and development practice including professional training.

The Scottish Executive Education Department (SEED)

The person in charge of the Scottish Executive Education Department (SEED) bears the title of Secretary and Head of the Department. The SEED is divided into 3 main Groups as follows:

- Schools
- Children and Young People
- Tourism, Culture and Sport

plus the Social Work Services Inspectorate.

Each of the Groups is sub-divided into Divisions and/or Branches or Teams, which deal with particular topics.

The Department promotes a high quality education service in schools and administers Government policy for school education in co-operation with local authorities which are responsible for providing school education in their areas. SEED gives guidance on the content of education and on the key elements in teacher education courses, and seeks to match the supply of teachers to demand. The Information, Analysis and Communication (IAC) Division has responsibility, in relation to education and young people, for promoting evidence-based policymaking and exploiting the benefits of a multidisciplinary approach through business planning, knowledge management, information systems, producing statistics, developing international education policy and links, managing the Department's research programme and carrying out economic analysis and evaluation of policy. Just over 1m is spent annually by SEED on directly commissioned policy-related educational research and evaluation.

The Department funds Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS), a non-departmental public body (NDPB), which was created in 2000 from the merger of the Scottish Council for Educational Technology (SCET) with the Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum (SCCC). LTS is responsible for providing advice, support, resources and staff development to enhance the quality of educational experience for the improvement of pupil and student attainment. LTS also works closely with the SEED in taking forward Government initiatives in information and communication technology (ICT) in education.

The SEED administers Government policy for pre-school and nursery education, childcare, social work and legal provision for people, including youth justice. It funds the Scottish Children's Reporters Administration (SCRA), an NDPB which administers the Children's Panel system for young offenders. It pays grant to the grant-aided residential special schools; it supports a student allowance scheme operated by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS); and, together with the General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS), it oversees teacher training and supply. The Department also manages the youth work dimension of community learning and development policy in Scotland. It operates a grant scheme to support national voluntary youth organisations and Youth Link Scotland, the national youth agency, which is responsible for the promotion and development of youth work in both the statutory and voluntary sectors.

The SEED co-ordinates the activities of education authorities and other bodies with an interest in education and issues guidance on such matters as curricula and teaching methods. Capital expenditure on new buildings, equipment or modernisation projects is financed by education authorities within broad limits laid down by Government. These limits are determined by formula and relate to all local authority capital programmes, with no specific allocation for schools.

The SEED encourages the development of the arts and architecture, cultural and built heritage, and sports and recreation in Scotland. The SEED funds the National Galleries, Library and Museums of Scotland, and provides funds to support the work of the Scottish Arts Council, Scottish Screen, Sport Scotland and a wide range of other bodies, including the Scottish Museums Council. The Department is also responsible for architectural policy, policy on Gaelic and on broadcasting in Scotland.

The SEED also has ultimate responsibility for two executive agencies: Historic Scotland and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education (HMIE). Historic Scotland is responsible for care of, and public access to, the monuments and historic buildings in the care of the First Minister. HMIE sets educational standards, provides professional advice to Ministers and local authorities and carries out evaluations of the work of pre-school education centres, schools, further education colleges, and local authority education services, reporting publicly on completion of all such inspections.

Social Work Inspectorate staff in the Department are responsible for professional advice and inspection of social work provision for children and young people. The Chief Social Work Adviser is Ministers' principal professional adviser on social work matters and manages the work of the Inspectorate across all Departments of the Scottish Executive.

Recent and Forthcoming SEED Initiatives

An important development since April 1999 has been the setting up of the Integrated (formerly New) Community School projects, involving over 400 schools. These aim to raise standards and promoting social inclusion. While there is no single model for Integrated Community Schools, most bring several existing schools together to work as a cluster, with a team of professionals providing a range of services, including education, social work, family support and health education. Integration of services is a key feature of Integrated Community Schools. The Scottish Executive is committed to engaging every school in this approach by 2007 and is making 78m available between 2002-03 and 2005-06 to support the initiative.

Scottish schools are all working towards becoming Health Promoting Schools by 2007 and a Scottish Health Promoting Schools Unit was set up to assist them with this in May 2002. The vision for the Unit is that by contributing to personal, community and national emotional well-being, the work of the Scottish Health Promoting Schools Unit should play its part in making Scotland a place where young people are enabled, within healthy and supportive environments, to make healthy, wise and discerning choices about their own lives and their roles in an inclusive society.

In 2001 The Discipline Task Group (DTG) published a report, Better Behaviour-Better Learning, which made 36 recommendations aimed at improving discipline in Scottish Schools. The Scottish Executive, local authorities and individual schools are implementing these recommendations. One is to pilot a Staged Intervention programme, involving training behaviour co-ordinators in authorities and schools to act as consultants to teachers providing in-class support and suggestions to help manage behaviour. A second recommendation being implemented was to establish working groups to consider how best to engage parents in the education of their children and to ensure discipline in school playgrounds and other public areas. A National Development Officer has been appointed to take forward a broad programme of work on promoting positive behaviour.

Work is also in hand to develop a mechanism for sharing good practice on discipline among teachers. The Executive is supporting three local authorities in piloting approaches such as mediation and "restorative conferencing" in a selection of their schools. In partnership with local authorities, it is working with a range of organisations which make alternative provision for pupils not in school. This initiative will develop a support network to share approaches and good practice throughout Scotland. The Executive has also commissioned research to learn more about authorities' deployment of staff to promote positive behaviour in schools.

In 2004 the Scottish Executive will produce new, updated child protection guidelines for educational professionals. These revised guidelines have undergone a thorough consultation process. They take account of recent and forthcoming changes in law and new procedures, developed over the last decade, for responding to risks to children. The new guidelines will cover a range of matters relevant to ensuring the safety and well-being of children, including: clear instruction on identifying and responding to children's needs; closer working with social work services, agencies and other partners to protect children in danger; and the importance of good appointment and checking procedures for all staff and volunteers who work with children.

The Scottish Executive Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning Department (SEETLLD)

The Scottish Executive Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning Department (SEETLLD) administers Scottish Executive policy on post-school education, training, lifelong learning and industry, thus linking closely Scotland's economic development with the education and training necessary to stimulate and maintain it.

The vast majority of further education colleges have since 1 July 1999 been funded by the Scottish Executive through the Scottish Further Education Funding Council (SFEFC). Evaluation of the quality of education in these colleges is the responsibility of HM Inspectorate of Education (HMIE).

Although the Scottish Executive provides the finance for the system of higher education, the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC) is responsible for the allocation of funds to the higher education institutions and for assessment of the quality of education offered in them.

The Scottish Executive set up learndirect scotland as Scotland's one-stop shop for encouraging people to get into learning and to make learning available when, where and how it best suits their needs. learndirect scotland will work alongside organisations such as the Enterprise Networks, Careers Scotland and Future Skills Scotland to ensure the learner has access to all the information they need to allow them to make informed choices when trying to identify learning they would like undertake.

SEETLLD manages the development of the adult education dimension of community learning and development policy, including adult literacy and numeracy. It operates a grants scheme to fund voluntary sector adult education organisations. In 2001 SEETLLD published a new strategy for Adult Literacy and Numeracy and provides funding to Community Learning Partnerships for local provision and at national level a new Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy at Communities Scotland.

2.6.2 General Administration at Regional Level

Compulsory Descriptors

Regional Administration

The 12 Regional and Island Authorities, which were responsible for education in Scotland until 1 April 1996, handed over their responsibilities to 32 local (district) authorities following a reorganisation of local government in Scotland.

2.6.3 General Administration at Local Level

Compulsory Descriptors

Local Government

The 32 local authorities (district authorities) in Scotland have direct responsibility for the provision of schools, the employment of educational staff, the provision and financing of most educational services, and the implementation of Scottish Executive policies in education. School Boards are the official forum for contact between parents and the individual school.

The Local Authorities

Local authorities have a statutory duty to provide adequate and efficient school education, to make provision for additional support needs and to provide the teaching of Gaelic in schools in Gaelic-speaking areas. They have an obligation to make arrangements for pupils who are excluded from or cannot attend school. They also have a duty to provide adequate facilities for recreational and sporting activities. They are responsible for the construction of buildings, the employment of teachers and other school staff and the provision of equipment and teaching materials. They exercise responsibility for the curriculum taught in schools, taking account of national guidance.

Local authorities are also required to provide community learning and development encompassing adult education, youth work and community work, the activities of voluntary organisations, educational support for specific groups such as ethnic minorities and those with disabilities, and the promotion of lifelong learning. The 1998 report: 'Communities: Change through Learning' and subsequent SO Circular 4/99 have encouraged local authorities and their community planning partners to produce Community Learning Strategies and local plans to provide a structured framework for community learning and development. Community Education Circular 4/99 set out guidance to local authorities on the development of community learning strategies and plans which should be produced in association with communities and the range of organisations (including the voluntary sector) which offer educational opportunities to them.

In June 2002 the Scottish Executive published 'Community Learning and Development: The Way Forward', which confirmed the change of terminology from 'community education' to 'community learning and development' and outlined policy in this area. The Scottish Executive is currently revising SO Circular 4/99 and new Guidance is due to be published in April 2004.

The Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES) has suggested that the education authorities should: manage the education budget, provide a local policy framework, provide support and leadership, provide quality assurance, provide equal opportunities (including for those with additional support needs), provide support and development services, maximise value for money and support adults and communities.

The Council in each local authority operates through a committee structure, including a committee which deals with educational matters, although there is no longer a statutory obligation on Councils to set up a committee specifically concerned with education. Education committees are composed of local councillors but must also have members representing the main Churches. The former statutory requirement to appoint teachers to such committees has been removed but authorities may continue to do so. Education committees make policy decisions on educational provision, within the framework of national law and regulations.

The executive functions in education in each authority are in the hands of an officer directly responsible to the Chief Executive of the authority. This officer is, in most cases, designated Director of Education. In some cases he or she may have a title such as 'Head of Education' or 'Corporate Manager - Education Services'. In some cases the Director of Education also has responsibility for Community Services. Local authorities have adopted very different structures.

The following table illustrates some of the new titles and how one authority has divided out the various responsibilities:

Chief Executive
Corporate Manager of Education Services
Head of Education DevelopmentHead of Education SupportHead of Community Education and LeisureHead of Planning and Resources
Education Development ManagerPupil Support ManagerCommunity Learning and Development ManagerCommunications Manager
Learning SupportSport and Leisure ManagerPlanning and Technology Manager
Psychological Services Manager
Library Services Manager

School Boards

One further local body, the School Board, has a role in the provision of public education. School Boards currently operate in 83% of State primary schools, 96% of secondary schools and 56% of special schools.

School Boards provide an official forum for the expression of parental views and the exercise of parental influence through elected representatives. The School Boards (Scotland) Act 1988 gives every public school in Scotland the opportunity of forming a School Board consisting of elected parent and staff members and members co-opted from the local community. The majority of members must be parents of children at the school.

School Boards provide an effective input of parents' views on the provision of school education at the level of the individual school. They have wide powers to ask for information about their own school and about other schools in the education authority's area. These powers include the right to receive and comment upon detailed statements concerning the school's finances. The Education (Scotland) Act 1996 and the Standards in Scotland's Schools etc. Scotland Act 2000 make some changes in the rules governing the organisation of School Boards. The latter Act also sets out that School Boards should exercise their functions with a view to raising the standard of education at the school. ( See also section 2.7.2).

2.6.4 Educational Institutions, Administration, Management

Compulsory Descriptors

School Management

Additional Descriptors (x to left denotes that additional descriptor is covered below)


Head teacher


School Autonomy

Although there are basic similarities in the organisation of educational institutions at all levels, there are also important differences between pre-school, primary, secondary and post-school institutions arising from differences in size and complexity. The description of arrangements in the following sub-sections applies to publicly funded educational provision. Private/independent establishments at the pre-school or school stages are responsible for their own administrative and management systems. These are usually broadly similar to those in the public sector, with many schools' head teachers appointed by and responsible to a Board of Governors ( see sections 4.16 and 5.19). Pre-School Establishments

Additional descriptors (x to left denotes that additional descriptor is covered below)

>Pre-school Education

In the past local authority pre-school education centres were to be staffed by qualified teachers on the basis of one teacher to twenty children. However in January 2002 Guidance on Involvement of Teachers in Pre-school education was introduced. It recognises that practice on the ground has changed and that teachers are playing different roles in different pre-school centres. The current aim is to provide a more flexible approach to pre-school education within centres by taking account of range of skills and experience of all staff involved. This has become easier with the repeal of the pre-school sections of the Schools Code in 2003. Local authority pre-school education centres are subject to the same staff ratios as all other early years centres regulated by the Care Commission. Primary Schools

Additional descriptors (x to left denotes that additional descriptor is covered below)

>Primary Education

Every Scottish primary school must have a head teacher in charge In primary schools of fewer than 200 pupils the head teacher (HT) will also normally be responsible for teaching a class. Larger primary schools will also have one or more depute head teachers (DHT), the number being determined by the number of pupils in the school. A school with more than 220 pupils will almost certainly have one depute head teacher. If there is only one DHT, that person may be responsible for primary classes 1 to 3 and possibly also a nursery class. The largest primary schools, those with a roll in excess of 500 pupils, will typically have three DHTs. When the roll is considerably in excess of 500, an additional DHT may be justified. The current structure for such large schools is illustrated in the chart below. Principal Teachers (a grade previously used only in secondary schools) are also being introduced to the primary sector. They will usually have a responsibility for one or more aspects of the general work of the school. It is usual for promoted staff below the level of head teacher to have whole or part responsibility for teaching a class.

Class teachers are now designated Maingrade Teachers, unless they are still in their probationary period. They have the possibility of becoming Chartered Teachers, paid on the same level as Principal Teachers, if they acquire additional qualifications.


Head Teacher
Principal Teacher(s) with particular responsibilities
Classroom Teachers (Probationer, Maingrade or Chartered)

The duties of head teachers and depute head teachers are set out in section 8.3.
The duties of classroom teachers and principal teachers are set out in section 8.2.12. Secondary Schools

Additional descriptors (x to left denotes that additional descriptor is covered below)

>Secondary Education

In the late 1960s and early 1970s many new secondary schools were built or older ones were extended in order to cope with a large secondary school population. At the same time all secondary schools gradually became comprehensive and acquired a fairly complex management structure and a pupil guidance system. The senior management team of a secondary school, often referred to also as the senior promoted staff, consists of a head teacher (HT), sometimes referred to as the rector, who is non-teaching and has an administrative, management and public relations role, and several depute head teachers (DHT), who normally have a limited teaching commitment in addition to considerable administrative and management duties. The DHTs may, for example, have responsibility for particular year groups, for groups of subject departments, for the guidance system. At middle management level are the heads of subject departments and specially trained guidance staff, who are respectively called Principal Teachers (PT) (Curriculum) and Principal Teachers (Pastoral).

As in primary schools, teachers at Maingrade level can pursue additional qualifications to become Chartered Teachers, paid on the same level of salary as Principal Teachers.

Senior managers and middle managers (curriculum and pastoral) meet separately on a regular basis and occasionally they meet together. There are also several whole-staff meetings in the course of the year. In addition, all secondary schools operate a committee or working party structure to handle ongoing concerns or ad hoc issues. These might include in-service training, additional support needs, the development of new assessment and reporting procedures or the organisation of particular extra-curricular events.


Head Teacher
Depute Head Teachers
Principal Teachers (Curriculum/Pastoral)
Classroom Teachers (Probationer, Maingrade or Chartered)

The duties of head teachers and depute head teachers are set out in section 8.3.
The duties of classroom teachers and principal teachers are set out in section 8.2.12. Post-School Education

Additional descriptors (x to left denotes that additional descriptor is covered below)

Further Education
Higher Education

Publicly funded post-school education is provided at three levels. Vocational education is provided by further education (FE) colleges, which are self-governing bodies funded largely by a grant from central Government. Since 1 July 1999 this grant has been channelled through the Scottish Further Education Funding Council (SFEFC). Non-vocational education in the form of community learning and development is provided by local authorities, voluntary organisations and other educational bodies, such as further education colleges and universities. Universities and some other higher education institutions are the responsibility of the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC). All Scottish FE colleges, however, also offer some higher education courses - at Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND) level or both, and in some cases also at degree level - as well as non-advanced vocational courses. Further Education Colleges

Additional descriptors (x to left denotes that additional descriptor is covered below)

>Further Education

Scotland's 46 FE colleges provide much of the country's vocational education and training as well as a wide range of higher education courses, mainly at HNC and HND level, but also in some cases at degree level. Many colleges have also developed close links with particular universities or other higher education institutions to which some of their students may transfer after gaining their HND.

In accordance with the provisions of the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 1992, 43 FE colleges became incorporated (i.e. self-governing) with effect from 1 April 1993. Since Bell College of Technology, Hamilton, was designated as a higher education institution in August 2001, however, the number of incorporated FE colleges is now 42. The FE colleges are governed by Boards of Management comprising up to 16 members. (The two colleges in Orkney and Shetland are under the management of the Islands' Councils, which receive 100% grant for them. Grant is also provided to two other colleges: Sabhal Mor Ostaig (the Gaelic college) and Newbattle Abbey College).

Half the members of each Board of Management are drawn from local industry and commerce, the remainder consisting of the College Principal, two members of staff, a student representative and four 'interested persons' from the local community. The Board is responsible for the appointment and management of staff, the management of property and finance, the range and pattern of curricular provision, production of a corporate plan and a strategy for college development. The Board has full executive powers to run the college.

The Principal is responsible for the internal management of the college. He/she is sometimes supported by a Depute. Colleges generally have a number of Assistant Principals, each of whom is likely to have a cross-college responsibility, e.g. in relation to quality assurance, funding or part-funding of capital projects and, since 1996, student bursary funding, or widening access. These are in addition to a 'faculty' or 'divisional' responsibility for overseeing and co-ordinating the work of related departments, e.g. building, commerce, engineering or general studies. A typical college has several thousand students, many of whom are part-time. The college may also have several campuses. Management functions, including marketing, curriculum development and generating income, therefore take up a great deal of time. There is, consequently, a need to employ a considerable number of non-teaching administrative staff in the larger colleges. Community Learning and Development Organisations

Additional descriptors (x to left denotes that additional descriptor is covered below)

>Community Learning and Development

All 32 Scottish local authorities provide community learning and development support, increasingly targeted at the more disadvantaged communities. Funding for this work provided by central government currently stands at about 100m. Additional Scottish Executive funding has been made available for adult literacy and numeracy work to community learning partnerships. Local authorities employ over 1300 qualified community learning and development practitioners, together with a larger number of part time and sessional staff. Local authority services have become more diverse in recent years and have adopted a range of service titles such as Community Services, Community Learning and Development, Community and Leisure Services. Senior officers tend to be at Assistant Director level within a wider service department.

The voluntary sector is a significant provider of community learning and development services, most particularly in the area of work with young people. The majority of trained practitioners are now employed in the voluntary sector. Voluntary organisations receive funding from the Scottish Executive, local authorities and such bodies as the National Lottery. Staffing and funding in this sector tend to be of a short term nature. A large number of volunteer staff are engaged in this work. Voluntary organisations have diverse management structures.

Further and Higher Education institutions, together with health education/promotion agencies and local enterprise councils have become active partners in the development of Community Learning and Development Strategies and Plans and are increasingly supporting outreach community learning and development approaches. Higher Education Institutions

Additional descriptors (x to left denotes that additional descriptor is covered below)

>Higher Education

There are at present in Scotland 21 higher education institutions. 20 of these (14 universities, including the Open University, and 6 other HEIs) are funded directly by the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC). One institution, the Scottish Agricultural College, is funded by the Scottish Executive Environment & Rural Affairs Department (SEERAD) and offers specialised courses in agriculture-related disciplines.

Each institution is run by a governing body, known either as a Board of Governors or a Court, consisting of about 25 members, including representatives from industry, commerce, the professions, local authorities, the senior officers of the institution and representatives of staff and students. The Chairman is, in most cases, appointed from amongst the 'lay' governors, usually by the governors themselves. In the four 'ancient' universities (Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews) the students elect a Rector, who serves for three years as Chairman of the Court and also nominates an assessor to the Court. The University of Dundee also has a Rector appointed by the students, but he/she does not chair the Court. Each institution has an Academic Council or Senate to deal with the planning, co-ordination, development and supervision of the institution's academic work.

Internally, each institution is administered and managed by a Principal (who has sometimes also the title of Vice-Chancellor) or Director. The Principal or Director is usually assisted by a Depute and in most cases also by a small team of senior staff, including Assistant Principals, responsible for a Faculty, to whom heads of department are accountable. Academic disciplines, organised by subject departments, are grouped into Faculties (or Schools of Study), headed by a Dean.

In some of the universities the graduates may form a General Council or similar body, which is entitled to make nominations to the University Court and to make representations to it on any aspect of the university's affairs.

The universities each have a Chancellor. This is an honorary, largely ceremonial appointment. The Chancellor confers the university's degrees on students at graduation.

Many of the higher education institutions are large and complex organisations (seven have more than 12,000 students). They employ large numbers of staff, including library staff and technicians. Considerable responsibility is delegated in most of them to the faculties and departments for teaching and research. Work which is purely administrative is carried out by non-academic staff.

2.7 Internal and External Consultation

Compulsory Descriptors


2.7.1 Internal Consultation

Additional Descriptors (x to left denotes that additional descriptor is covered below)

Student Participation
Teacher Participation

2.7.1 Internal Consultation

There is no single formal body responsible for organising consultation among the various providers and levels of education. There are several organisations which promote and engage in consultation, including SEED/SEETLLD centrally.

Educational Administration
At national level consultation takes place regularly between the SEED/SEETLLD and a range of bodies, some of which have been set up to provide the Government with advice on particular aspects of education. Others represent important groups actively involved in the educational system. At local level consultation takes place between schools, FE colleges and higher education institutions. In 2002 the Scottish Executive established a cross Scottish Executive community learning and development group encompassing SEED, SEDD, SEETLLD and HMIE.

There are a number of agencies for educational development, most of them originally set up by Government for this purpose, which are used, as appropriate, for consultation on curriculum and assessment at the national level. Among the members of these bodies are teaching staff from different kinds of educational establishments as well as other educationists and representatives from outside education.

Communities Scotland (CS)
This is an Executive Agency with overall responsibility for community regeneration. In 2002 it took over lead responsibility for supporting community learning and development from Community Learning Scotland (CLS). This includes responsibility for professional training in this field. In 2001 Ministers decided to close CLS as the single one door development centre and to support the development of more discrete national development centres supporting, e.g., youth work and adult literacy, with the transfer of CLS functions to YouthLink Scotland and Communities Scotland.

The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)
The GTC was established in 1965 and is statutorily responsible for maintaining a register of teachers in Scotland and for the establishment and monitoring of professional teaching standards. The Minister for Education must, by law, consult the GTC on matters concerning teacher education.

Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS)
LTS is a body on which various educational interests are represented and which advises on the schools' curriculum and promotes the use of new technologies for more effective teaching and learning. It offers up-to-date educational information through its wide range of publications and provides some open learning resources, educational software, including films and videos, and training courses associated with the use of technology in education. LTS was formed from the merger (in 2000) of the Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum (SCCC) and the Scottish Council for Educational Technology (SCET).

One particular responsibility of Learning and Teaching Scotland is to support the development of the National Grid for Learning (NGfL) in Scotland. A consultation document, Connecting the Learning Society, was widely circulated in October 1997. This led to the publication of the SOEID strategy paper: Implementing the National Grid for Learning in Scotland, in August 1998, which set targets as well as describing the arrangements for managing the development of the Grid in Scotland.

The NGfL is a key Government initiative aimed at securing the benefits of advanced networked information technologies for education and lifelong learning. The NGfL is developing high quality learning material which will be available on the Internet to schools and colleges, teachers, lecturers, pupils, students and other learners. It also operates a programme aimed at delivering the infrastructure of cable and networks, the hardware, the services and the training required to establish a modern, comprehensive information and communications technology system for all schools and colleges. An annual progress report is published by SEED ( www.scotland.gov.uk/library5/education/nglr2-00.asp).

One of the first achievements of the NGfL in Scotland has been the setting up of a website, called Parent Zone, ( http://www.ngflscotland.gov.uk/parentzone), which provides information to parents on placing requests, school term dates, school inspection reports and a wide range of education issues.

The Scottish Council for Research in Education (SCRE)
The SCRE carries out research on all aspects of education and acts as a national forum for debate about educational research issues in Scotland. It has recently merged with the University of Glasgow Faculty of Education.

The Scottish Further Education Funding Council (SFEFC)
The SFEFC is a statutory body established in 1999 to administer the funding of further education colleges in Scotland and to oversee evaluative procedures for these institutions.

The Scottish Further Education Unit (SFEU)
The objectives of the SFEU are to support key developments and innovations in the further education sector in Scotland. The Unit supports teaching and learning, the application of information technology, and organisational, professional and management development. It also supports colleges in implementing key Government policy initiatives.

The Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC)
The SHEFC is a statutory body established in 1993 to administer the funding of all higher education institutions, including universities, and to oversee evaluative procedures for such institutions.

The Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT)
Since 1 April 2001 the Scottish Joint Negotiating Committee (SJNC) for Teaching Staff in School Education has been replaced by a new negotiating body for teachers: The Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT). The SNCT's task is to take forward the collective bargaining arrangements for school teachers in Scotland. Work in this area is underpinned by the agreement reached with the profession on the recommendations contained in the McCrone report: A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century.

The SNCT is tripartite, with representatives from the teaching unions, employers and the Scottish Executive. It is supported by five Working Groups, which are taking forward detailed work on the agreement. The Working Groups are dealing with:

* Career Structure
* Conditions of Service
* Discipline
* Educational Psychologists and Advisers
* Support Staff

The final decision-making rests with the SNCT.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)
The SQA is a statutory body which has responsibility for national qualifications at all levels (below degree level) offered in schools, further education colleges and some higher education institutions in Scotland. It also approves education and training establishments which offer courses leading to its qualifications. The SQA took over these functions from the Scottish Examination Board (SEB) and the Scottish Vocational Education Council (SCOTVEC) in April 1997.

In the school sector there is regular and frequent consultation between the SEED and the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES) and also consultation with the two associations representing head teachers: the Headteachers' Association of Scotland (HAS) for secondary head teachers and the Association of Head Teachers in Scotland (AHTS) for primary education.

In further education the Principals of the FE colleges are consulted by the SEETLLD, often through the Association of Scottish Colleges (ASC). There are also regular meetings with Universities Scotland, the body representing the Scottish higher education institutions and its sub-committees. From time to time there has also been consultation with Universities UK (UUK), the body representing all of the UK's universities.

Consultation also takes place on educational matters, as well as matters concerning conditions of service, with the teacher associations: the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), which represents both teachers in schools and lecturers in further and higher education; the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association (SSTA), the Professional Association of Teachers (PAT) and the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers (NAS/UWT). In further and higher education, lecturers are also represented by the Scottish Further and Higher Education Association (SFHEA).

Consultation in the field of community learning and development takes place regularly with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (CoSLA), Community Education Managers Scotland (CEMS), and the various voluntary sector umbrella bodies, such as Learning Link and the professional association, Scottish Association of Community Education Staff (SACES).

Consultation at institution level tends to take place between individual institutions and to be concerned with making transfer from one stage of education to another easier. Consultation also takes place where courses are shared between institutions and where pupils registered in one institution may take some courses in another.

Links between Pre-School Education and Primary Schools
There is no statutory requirement for primary schools to receive information about or to take account of children's pre-school experience. It is nevertheless expected that primary schools will pay due heed to children's early learning, both in the home and in pre-school provision. Most pre-school providers do provide some form of progress report on the pre-school year children who have been with them. The 1999 Curriculum Framework for Children 3-5 sets out guidance about the learning and developmental needs of younger children. The primary school will then take steps to ensure that the primary school curriculum builds on the full range of children's pre-school experiences. Sometimes children who have attended the same pre-school provision are deliberately placed in the same P1 class or seated close together in class. Particular attention is paid to children who are signalled as having additional support needs.

The concern for a smooth transition from home or pre-school education to the more formal educational experience of the first year of primary school also means that primary schools usually have a carefully structured induction programme. This typically involves contact with parents, visits to the school in advance of entry, a shorter school day for a time and a curriculum which at first closely resembles that of pre-school establishments. The SEED has also made available to education authorities and establishments a model pre-school/primary transition record to use or adapt to suit local circumstances.

Links between Primary Schools and Secondary Schools
The main links which a primary school has with other educational institutions are with the secondary school or schools which receive its pupils at the age of 12. Traditionally, there was a divide between primary and secondary education; in recent years considerable moves have been made to make the transition of pupils from one to the other easier and to build up connections in the curriculum. Particularly since the decision was taken to develop the new curriculum in Scotland to cover pupils from 5 to 14, the need for good relations and dialogue between primary and secondary schools has become greater. Secondary schools frequently designate a promoted member of staff to be responsible for these contacts. In some secondary schools, particularly in rural areas, where there may be as many as 20 or more associated primary schools, the task of promoting communication is not easy. The SEED has, however, provided an exemplar primary/secondary pupil transition record for education authorities and establishments to use or adapt to suit local circumstances.

Links between Secondary Schools and Post-School Provision
Secondary schools often have links with further education colleges, particularly when arrangements exist for their pupils to take courses in these colleges. Links also exist to help to keep schools informed so that pupils continuing their education in the further education system may have up-to-date advice about what it offers. Institutions of higher education frequently have members of staff who have the responsibility of making contact with schools and keeping them informed about courses in their institutions.

Links between Community Learning and Development Providers
Since 1999 all local authorities have established Community Learning and Development Partnerships, comprising service providers in this area from across the public and voluntary sectors. These work together to plan services at council and locality level. Partnerships include school, FE and HE interests.

2.7.2 Consultation involving Players in Society at large

Additional Descriptors (x to left denotes that additional descriptor is covered below)

Student Participation


Parent Participation


School-community Relationship

University-Industry Relationship

Advisory Body


Social Partners

It is government policy that there should be close co-operation between schools and the parents of their pupils and also close co-operation with industry. An important role in education is also played by teacher associations.

Participation by Parents in Schooling
Parents play a central role in their children's learning. It is important, therefore, to have strong partnerships between parents and schools. Relations with parents are particularly important for all schools. The School Boards (Scotland) Act 1988 gives every public school in Scotland the opportunity of forming a School Board consisting of elected parent and staff members and members co-opted from the local community. In November 2002 approximately 83% of primary schools, 97% of secondary schools and 56% of special schools had a School Board. School Boards provide an official forum for the expression of parental views and the exercise of parental influence through elected representatives. The majority of members must be parents of children at the school. School Boards can be represented nationally by the Scottish School Boards Association (SSBA).

Many schools have an active Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) which can be represented at national level by the Scottish Parent Teacher Council (SPTC).

In Scotland, parents have a right by law:

  • to a free school place for their child from age 5 to age 16; their child may then continue at school to age 17 or 18 or get a place at college;
  • to choice of school, within certain limits;
  • to receive information about their child's progress;
  • to an appeal in cases of non-admission and exclusion and over decisions with regard to a Record of Needs;
  • to assessment of and help with any additional support needs which their child may have;
  • to access records kept by the school on their child;
  • to have religious education and observance provided at school (but parents may withdraw their children from either or both);
  • to information about education and schools in their area;
  • to a vote and the right to stand in School Board elections; and
  • to information from the School Board and about its activities and decisions.

In January 2003 the Scottish Executive set out key commitments to improve parental involvement in their children's education and to review and reform the role of School Boards and Parent Teacher Associations ( See also section 2.6.3).

Participation by Parents in Pre-School Education
Relations with parents occupy an important place in the Curriculum Framework for Children 3-5 (1999) and in the Requirements of Grant which govern public funding for pre-school education. Parents are strongly encouraged to maintain close contact with local authority, private and voluntary pre-school education providers. When their children start attending they are asked to provide essential information on health, interests, likes and dislikes, and relationships with other children. They are offered, in return, detailed information about the pre-school education establishment, its aims and its activities.

The National Care Standards for early education and childcare up to the age of 16 set out from a user's perspective what can be expected from providers of pre-school education. The Standards provide the framework for assessing the service, together with the Curriculum Framework and regulations, when the centres are regulated by the Care Commission. Joint inspections take place between the Care Commission and HMIE. Parents are also invited to visit the pre-school education establishment and to help out by reading to the children, playing with them, supervising the use of glue or paint during art/craft activities, helping the children to put on outdoor clothing, taking part in short excursions, and so on. Their child's progress is frequently reported to them and discussed with them and they are often encouraged to learn more about child development.

Participation by Parents in Primary Education
There are regular meetings between parents and staff at which the progress of their children is discussed and parents are encouraged to raise with the school any matters which concern them. The direct involvement of parents in the work of primary schools can also be considerable, both in providing help in school, for example by assisting with school libraries, and on excursions which pupils undertake from school, and in fund-raising for the benefit of the school. In addition to the formal machinery of the School Board, many schools have active Parent Teacher Associations in which parents combine to work in support of the school.

Participation by Parents in Secondary Education
Consultation with parents about their children's education is also regarded as extremely important in the secondary school. Schools invite parents to regular meetings to discuss their children's progress. Secondary schools also consider it important to give opportunities to parents for consultation during pupils' second year (S2) and during their fourth year (S4), when important curricular decisions have to be made. As in primary schools, decision-making at the formal level on behalf of parents is by the School Board. Parent Teacher Associations, in which parents combine to work in support of the school, also exist.

Participation by and Consultation with Industry in Schooling
Links with industry provide considerable benefits to pupils, employers, teachers, parents and the community. For pupils they offer opportunities for development through widening experience, supporting the transition from education to working life and helping them see purpose to their education. For businesses, links with education provide contact with potential future employees and customers, as well as helping to keep industry informed about current educational developments and practice. Through their involvement with business and industry, teachers gain insight into business processes and management techniques, experience which can provide a motivating context for their own continuing professional development.

Enterprising Careers - Centre for Studies in Enterprise, Career Development and Work, formerly the National Centre: Education for Work and Enterprise, is based at the University of Strathclyde. It has produced a wide range of high quality teaching resources designed to support enterprise in education. In close collaboration with the Bank of Scotland, the Centre has developed a small grants scheme which gives teachers the opportunity to set up their own enterprise projects within schools.

Participation by and Consultation with Industry in Pre-School Education
From the very earliest stages in education children are encouraged to know about 'People who help us' and 'People who make things for us'. Industry can also have direct connections with pre-school groups which it supports or even organises on its own premises.

Participation by and Consultation with Industry in Primary Education
Pupils are encouraged throughout the primary school progressively to know more about the world of work in a wide range of ways. Examples are learning about jobs which people do, direct contact with people from the world of work, learning to use tools safely, conducting simple market research, suggesting and carrying out fund-raising initiatives and appropriate visits to places where people work.

Participation by and Consultation with Industry in Secondary Education
Many schools have established links with local industries, and local networks have been formed in some places to support these links. A firm will often designate an employee to set up links with education, so that visits and periods of part-time employment may be profitable for the pupils and firms alike. Pupils in secondary schools learn about industry at various points in their school career and are also very likely to have a short period of work experience towards the end of their secondary course. A new programme of business placements for teachers has been developed which is designed to offer quality experiences to them outwith the classroom and encourage greater participation by business in school.

Participation by and Consultation with Local Authority Services
Pre-school groups, primary schools and secondary schools are likely to have close involvement with the local authority's social work service and with the local health service as well as with a range of local services which can contribute to their work, such as libraries, museums and local archives.

Participation by and Consultation with Agencies training those who will deal with children
Pre-school education centres are often also training places, particularly for teachers and nursery nurses. For example, all primary teachers in Scotland are required to have a placement in pre-school education during their training. Pre-school education centres are also used for training placements for others who work with small children. Good contacts are therefore essential between the pre-school education centre and the institution responsible for the training. Many primary and secondary schools also play a key role in the training of teachers by providing the school experience element in initial teacher education courses. In this way schools come into contact with the staff and resources of the teacher education institutions.

Participation by and Consultation with Teacher Associations
The school teacher associations, of which there are four in Scotland: the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association (SSTA), the Professional Association of Teachers (PAT) and the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers (NAS/UWT), in addition to their involvement with the pay and conditions of service of teachers, also take a considerable interest in curriculum matters and in any proposals for reform of the education system. There are also two head teachers' associations: the Association of Head Teachers in Scotland (AHTS) for primary head teachers and the Head teachers' Association of Scotland (HAS) for secondary head teachers. The EIS also represents lecturers in the further education and higher education sectors, as does the Scottish Further and Higher Education Association (SFHEA), and many university teachers belong to the Association of University Teachers (Scotland) (AUTS), part of a wider United Kingdom organisation.

Participation by and Consultation with Key Players in Post-School Education
A framework of standards for relationships between institutions in post-school education and their students, prospective employers and the local community is set out in the Further and Higher Education Charter for Scotland (1993) published by the SEETLLD (then SOED):

For students, institutions should provide information on the courses which they offer, entry requirements for these courses, how to apply for courses, services for students and sources of financial help. They should also supply information on the aims and structures of their courses, on their policy on equal opportunities, on their facilities for students with disabilities or learning difficulties and on access by students to guidance on career opportunities. The charter emphasises the need for institutions to have high standards in dealing promptly and efficiently with enquiries and applications as well as in their teaching, supervision of research and assessment procedures, in providing students with access to advice and guidance, in the opportunities which they give to students to express their views and in the way in which they deal with complaints.

For employers, institutions should provide information to help them recruit employees, through understanding of the qualifications available and levels of proficiency attained, and select appropriate programmes for their staff. Such information should include the range of courses offered, the type of teaching provided, the levels of competence which students are expected to reach, the progress of their employees who are undergoing training, the amount of study time they require and the aims of their work placements. Institutions should also provide information about the quality of what they provide and give employers opportunities to make their views known or make complaints.

The local community should have access to institutions of post-school education which should publicise facilities that are open to the public. In the case of further education colleges they should have access to a summary of the colleges' development plans.

Participation by Communities.
The Local Government in Scotland Act 2003 provides a statutory underpinning for Best Value and Community Planning, and in particular the requirement upon service providers to consult community/consumer interests. Working and Learning Together to Build Stronger Communities, Scottish Executive Guidance on Community Learning and Development, emphasises that community interests and service users should be full partners in community learning and in development strategies and action plans. Community learning and development practice emphasises youth and community empowerment.

2.8 Methods of Financing Education

Compulsory Descriptors

Financing, Resource Allocation

Additional Descriptors (x to left denotes that additional descriptor is covered below)

Private Funds
Public Funds

School Autonomy

Positive Discrimination

The Scottish Executive supports school education and community learning and development as an element in the grant which it pays annually to local authorities. The actual amount allocated by the local authorities to education is their own responsibility. Day-to-day responsibility for spending is delegated to a considerable extent to schools themselves. Further education colleges are now funded by the Scottish Executive through the Scottish Further Education Funding Council (SFEFC) which was set up on 1 January 1999 but assumed full powers only on 1 July 1999. Higher education institutions are funded by the Executive through the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC) and by fees from students. Further education colleges and higher education institutions also have income from services which they provide in such fields as training, research and specialist advice.

2.8.1 Financing of School Education

Additional descriptors (x to left denotes that additional descriptor is covered below)

Primary Education
Secondary Education

Education is the most expensive service provided by local authorities, absorbing just over half of their annual expenditure. Along with most other local services, the cost of the education services is met from resources raised by the Council Tax (a tax related to tenancy and to the ownership of private property), non-domestic rates (a tax on business premises) and an annual grant from the Scottish Executive. Once the education budget is agreed, the education committee in each local authority then decides on the level of support to be given to its schools. Thereafter, the authority's education department is responsible for implementing the education committee's policies and ensuring that the money allocated under the approved budget headings is spent appropriately. Individual schools are, however, to a considerable extent (at least 80%) responsible on a day-to-day basis for managing their own budgets. These arrangements apply to the appointment of some staff additional to the school's normal complement (who are paid by the local authority), running costs, teaching materials and a number of other items.

Capital expenditure on new buildings, modernisation projects and equipment is financed by the education authorities within broad capital expenditure limits laid down annually by Government. These limits cover all local authority capital programmes.

2.8.2 Financing of Post-School Education and Training

Additional descriptors (x to left denotes that additional descriptor is covered below)

Further Education
Higher Education
Vocational Training

The financing of post-school education differs depending on whether it is classed as vocational training, further education or higher education. The major distinction between training and the other two forms of post-school training is that, in the case of training, the funding is used to provide courses, while in the other cases the funding supports the colleges and universities themselves. Further education colleges, with a very small number of exceptions, were funded directly by the Government until 30 June 1999. However, since 1 July 1999, the Scottish Further Education Funding Council (SFEFC) now funds FE colleges, using financial resources made available by the Scottish Executive. Higher education institutions are funded through the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC). The financing of community learning and development is primarily via the annual grant to local authorities from the Scottish Executive.

Financing for training of 16 to 24-year-olds is the responsibility of the Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning. Funding is provided through Scottish Enterprise (SE) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to Local Enterprise Companies (LEC), which are independent of the education system but buy in training from it.

Further Education
The Scottish Executive provides funding for the 46 Scottish Further Education colleges through the Scottish Further Education Funding Council (SFEFC). The SFEFC funds the 42 incorporated (self-governing) colleges directly, and Orkney and Shetland colleges through their local authorities. Two other institutions, Newbattle Abbey College and Sabhal Mor Ostaig, the Gaelic college on the island of Skye, also receive financial support from the SFEFC in recognition of their distinctive educational roles. All the colleges also receive fees from their students and from organisations and firms for which they supply education and training.

Higher Education
Higher education institutions are funded by the Scottish Executive through the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC) which is responsible for distributing funding to the individual institutions for teaching, research and associated activities. The Council also provides the Scottish Ministers with information and advice relating to all aspects of higher education in Scotland, including the financial needs of the sector.

Teaching in Higher Education
Funding for teaching is allocated by means of a formula which uses broad funding groups, each consisting of subjects that are academically similar. The funding is sub-divided into provision for undergraduate and post-graduate teaching and post-graduate research. A unit of teaching resource has been determined for each subject group: for example, about 3,500 for business and administration studies and about 5,500 for engineering and technology.

The units of resource represent the broad relativities between the different subject areas. To arrive at the institution's allocation for teaching, the relevant unit resource is multiplied by the number of students to be funded by the Council and an appropriate deduction is made for tuition fees paid by, or on behalf of, the student.

In October 1998 the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council undertook a broad-ranging consultation to inform a fundamental review of its method of funding teaching. The outcome of the review will be published in the near future.

In addition to student places which are funded by the Council at the full unit of resource, institutions are free to enrol some additional students for whom they receive only the tuition fee element. During the current period of consolidation of student numbers the total number of full-time and "sandwich" undergraduate students is controlled. Part-time and post-graduate students may be freely enrolled.

Research in Higher Education
About 95% of the Council's funding in support of research (totalling over 100m) is distributed to institutions using a formula based on the results of a quinquennial Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) which is carried out on a UK-wide basis by the SHEFC itself and the other UK funding bodies. Departments rated lowest on the scale, which runs from 1 up to 5, do not receive research funding. Those departments rated 3 to 5 are weighted in the formula, so that the higher-rated departments receive more funds per volume of research activity. The results of the latest RAE were published in December 2001.

Since 1993-94, the number of academic staff active in research has been used as the principal indicator of the volume of research activity in a department. Other minor elements of the volume indicator are: numbers of research assistants and research students; and research income from all sources other than the Funding Council. Some 5% of the resource for research is allocated by the Funding Council, independently of the RAE, to reflect its wish to promote research in certain priority areas.

The three Higher Education Funding Councils in the UK are undertaking fundamental reviews of their policies and methods for the funding and support of research. The Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC) launched its review in February 2000 by publishing a consultation document: Research and the Knowledge Age.

The SHEFC expects that any new methods of supporting research will begin to influence funding from about 2002-2003, following the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in 2001. However, any new methods of assessing research are unlikely to be introduced before 2005-2006.

Capital in Higher Education
The SHEFC allocates resources for capital projects and equipment. While the Council will continue to provide support for capital projects to which it agreed in earlier years, capital funding will, increasingly, be allocated on a formula basis.

2.9 Statistics

Compulsory Descriptors

Statistical Data

Additional Descriptors (x to left denotes that additional descriptor is covered below)

Education BudgetCost of EducationPrivate Funds
Public Funds

These statistics cover pre-school, school and post-school education.

In Publicly Funded and Independent (i.e. Private) Schools

Numbers in pre-school and school education at January 2003 and September 2002 respectively.

Pre-school education
Number of local authority centres1,570
Number of other providers (in partnership with local authorities)1,212
Number of children attending105,000
Percentage of 4-year-olds attending99%
Percentage of 3-year-olds attending83%
Teachers (Full-time equivalent)22,980
Pupil:Teacher Ratio18.0:1
Teachers (Full-time equivalent)25,040
Pupil:Teacher Ratio12.7:1
Schools/Departments (including. ASN units)189
Teachers (Full-time equivalent)2,028
Pupil:Teacher Ratio3.9:1
Teachers (Full-time equivalent) 3,234
Pupil:Teacher Ratio9.4:1
In Further and Higher Education
Student Enrolments in non-advanced Further Education (2001-2002)(in 000s)
Students in Higher Education (2001-2002)(in 000s)
Full-time HE students (in HEIs)142.7
Full-time HE students (in FE colleges)27.6
Part-time HE students (in HEIs)65.8
Part-time HE students (in FE colleges)36.5
In Community Learning and Development Collection of statistics in this area is under review
Expenditure on Education in 2002-2003 (estimates)
Pre-school establishments204.2
Other non school funding136.1
Further Education, including Adult Education459.4*
Higher Education, including Teacher Training*739.6*
[* Includes Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC) running costs and expenditure on HE teaching, research and special initiatives.]
Community Learning and Development (local government spend)92.7
Maintenance Grants, including Student Loans313.3
Other Expenditure, including Youth Service and Pupil Transport161.0
Total Expenditure - Schools & Tertiary Sectors (2002-2003) (m)
Central Government1512.3
Local Government3332.7