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

Curriculum architect calls for its immediate reform

Curriculum for Excellence’s implementation has been “largely negative” says Bloomer

The Commission on School Reform, the independent group of education experts set up by the think tank Reform Scotland, has called for the urgent reform of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE). In a submission to the OECD ahead of its review of the Broad General Education (BGE) phase of CfE, the Commission, chaired by one of the original version of CfE’s architects, Keir Bloomer has suggested that the review can contribute to reassuring the public about the quality of Scotland’s schooling.

The Commission has identified a number of problems in the implementation of CfE, particularly in secondary schools, and has indicated that there is insufficient focus on knowledge in the teaching of Scotland’s children.

The truth is that the schools which perform best at the moment are those which have largely ignored the 20,000 pages of guidance which accompanied the implementation of CfE.”

“Scotland’s educational performance has evidentially been moving in the wrong direction during the tenure of CfE. The OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) recorded a substantial decline in maths, reading and science. Our own Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy has recorded a decline in literacy and numeracy at all levels.”

“It is now time we stop pretending that we are doing well, and we hope that OECD will, this time, open the bonnet of CfE rather than simply adjudicating on the bodywork.”

Keir Bloomer


  1. The submission can be downloaded below.
  2. The Commission on School Reform was set up by Reform Scotland and the Centre of Scottish Public Policy. More information, including its membership, can be seen here.
  3. Reform Scotland is an independent, non-party think tank that aims to set out a better way to deliver increased economic prosperity and more effective public services based on the traditional Scottish principles of limited government, diversity and personal responsibility. Further information is available at
  4. Media: for more information contact Message Matters (Andy Maciver, [email protected], 07855 261 244)