ABSTRACT

The Scottish Government has devolved powers for education and child and family policy (The Scottish Parliament, 1998) that sets it apart from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Scottish education system has its own distinct characteristics and has enjoyed an excellent reputation abroad (Knox, n.d.). Concern about an achievement gap identified by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) initiated the case for change (OECD, 2007); and an aspiration to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up has driven the cross party consensus in government to radically transform Scottish education. The process began with a Scotland wide consultation, the ‘National Debate on Education’ (Education Scotland, 2002). The people were asked, ‘what do you want from our education system?’ At the end of the consultation, people wanted children who were successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors (The Scottish Government, 2004). They wanted a system that reflected the values that parliament itself was founded on: wisdom, justice, integrity and compassion (The Scottish Parliament, 1998).