Important Update on the HPCP Response to the Education (Scotland) Bill Consultation “Empowering Schools”

You may be interested in the following statement by the cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills on 26 June 2018:

Today I have set out in the Scottish Parliament the next phase of our action to empower schools across Scotland. This empowerment is crucial so that the important decisions which most affect the outcomes for children and young people are made in consultation with them and by those closest to them.

The Scottish Government has consulted extensively on how we can best empower and support our schools. I have listened carefully to our International Council of Education Advisers, our education professionals, local authorities, parents and pupils. They have told me that, whilst they strongly support the principle of empowering schools, they prefer approaches to achieving our goals which do not involve new legislation.

I have always been clear that legislation will not, on its own, deliver the cultural change and enhanced capacity that we want to see.

I have decided, therefore, to pursue an approach to reform based on consensus building and collaboration with partners. It is through such consensus building and collaboration that we have reached agreement on the establishment of the Regional Improvement Collaboratives. We have now achieved a landmark agreement with local government which will see the Headteachers’ Charter, and meaningful school empowerment, collaboration and pupil and parent participation, delivered across Scotland.

That agreement is published today along with the draft Education (Scotland) Bill but I will not be introducing the Bill to Parliament at this time. Instead, I will monitor progress over the course of the next academic year. I look forward to seeing pace and ambition in delivering our joint commitment to an empowered system. However, if sufficient progress is not made across the system in implementing the roadmap agreed with local government, I will introduce the Education(Scotland) Bill to the Scottish Parliament.

This way, we do not need to wait for the passage of legislation which cannot be fully enacted until 2019 or 2020 to begin work on implementing the reforms to which both local government and the Scottish Government are committed – that work can start immediately. I believe that this next phase will deliver a teacher and school-led system more quickly because of our investment in consensus building and collaboration.

I look forward to continuing to work with you as we continue on our journey to deliver further improvements in Scottish education.

Yours sincerely, John Swinney

It seems that the many concerns raised about the intended Education (Scotland) Bill by the HPCP and every Local Authority in Scotland have been heeded, and that for now at least the imposition of unnecessary additional legislation has been stopped.

 

 

Highland Parent Council Partnership Response to Education Governance consultation -Approved Final – 29 Jan 18

The file at the link above is what the HPCP submitted to the Scottish Govt in response to the consultation on the proposed Education (Scotland) Bill “Empowering Schools”.

We had dozens of inputs from Parent Councils across Highland representing the views of thousands of Parents (and pupils).  Trying to pull this all together into a coherent response was not easy but we have tried to ensure that the majority view and the range of opinions expressed were accurately represented.

Thank you to all those who contributed and the small team of HPCP volunteers who invested a great deal of their time into producing the submission.  The HPCP exists to help the voice of Highland Parents be heard, including in Holyrood, and we hope that the message is received loud and clear.

COSLA has also published its response, at http://www.cosla.gov.uk/sites/default/files/private/18-01-30coslaresponsetoeducationbillconsultation.pdf .  It has in essence entirely rejected the proposed legislation as unworkable and undemocratic.

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