Scotland’s independent think tank
Scotland’s independent think tank


Reform Scotland, a charity registered in Scotland, is a non-partisan public policy institute which works to promote increased economic prosperity, more effective public services and expanded opportunities for all Scots.

Reform Scotland is independent of political parties and any other organisations. It is funded by donations from private individuals, charitable trusts and corporate organisations. The Director and  Research Director work closely with the Advisory Board, chaired by Lord McConnell, which meets regularly to review the research and policy programme.

Reform Scotland’s policies cover the following broad themes:

  • Increasing prosperity
  • A positive climate for entrepreneurs and innovators
  • Reform and modernisation of public services
  • Widening opportunity for all
  • Compassion for those who slip through the cracks
  • Greater courage and appetite for risk among policy-makers.

Our principles can be summed up as follows:


The bedrock on which all else is built. We support a thriving, profitable private sector and a climate that encourages and incentivises wealth creators and entrepreneurs to innovate, create more and better jobs, improve productivity, widen diversity, achieve higher standards of living, and provide the tax revenues that fund effective public services. The future economy of Scotland is a central focus for Reform Scotland


Access to the benefits and life chances afforded by an advanced, wealthy democracy like Scotland must be open to all, regardless of birth. Scotland’s education system, from nursery on, is key to giving everyone a fair chance.


Scotland needs a better understanding of poverty and ill-fortune, their causes and how effectively to tackle them. Those who fall between the cracks require a helping hand – too many Scots are abandoned to a life on the margins, creating personal, community and generational crises that are the responsibility of us all.


Scottish policy-makers too often avoid the tough choices necessary for good and effective governance. They are in thrall to vested interests and restrictive practices, and embrace the easy option rather than the right one. So far, Holyrood has failed to live up to its potential or rise to meet the expectations and needs of the public it is elected to serve. Given the scale of the 21st century’s challenges, this must change. Reform Scotland advocates experimentation, risk-taking, innovation, and trial and error in Scottish policy making, underwritten by a more rigorous system of accountability and evaluation. We encourage bravery from our leaders – to govern is to choose.
If you would like to support Reform Scotland or learn more about its activities please email [email protected].