“Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence continues to be a bold and widely supported initiative, and its design offers the flexibility needed to improve student learning further. CfE’s vision to achieve excellence for all students is widely shared by stakeholders and continues to be an inspiring example equated with good curriculum practice internationally.” – Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence: Into the Future, OECD 2021 Review
The recent OECD report into implementing the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) in Scottish education commended Scotland’s pioneering approach to education and its commitment to ensuring the education system should be an international exemplar of inclusivity.
However, while the report’s recommendations intended to manifest continuous improvement rather than wholesale change, there are still issues to address. The overarching critique of the CfE is an apparent lack of a long-term view in policymaking. This is partly due to the politicisation of education policy in Scotland.
The OECD report identifies the single biggest issue in CfE’s design is its application to the senior phase of Scottish education. According to the report, there is a lack of clarity between breadth and depth of learning in this phase. The OECD also highlight a misalignment between the curriculum and student assessment. This issue leads the OECD report to observe that Scotland has a 21st-century curriculum and a 19th-century system of assessment.
Join Holyrood for this landmark policy event, where we will strike our own balance of breadth and depth as we analyse the OECD report. We will discuss how the Scottish Government and the wider education establishment should respond and what this may mean for the curriculum and the broadly-defined workforce.
The event will also look at the other key aspects of building an inclusive and holistic education system. These include the attainment gap, supporting the mental health of children and young people, and how the education system’s recovery from the pandemic may affect the system as we move forward.