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

An Education Manifesto for 2021 and Beyond

Commission on School Reform outlines roadmap to recovery in its Holyrood manifesto

The Commission on School Reform, the independent group of education experts set up by the think tank Reform Scotland, today releases An Education Manifesto for 2021 and Beyond, comprising policy recommendations which it argues would return Scotland’s schools system to world-leading status.

The Commission proposes a sweeping series of reforms to culture and governance, the curriculum, assessment and examinations, vocational learning, early years education, and research and data, as well as specific ideas to assist with the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

An Education Manifesto for 2021 and Beyond includes the following recommendations:

  • The abolition of Education Scotland and the establishment of an independent inspectorate
  • Rejoining of the international TIMSS and PIRLS studies
  • Increased school and headteacher autonomy, including over the curriculum
  • A government commitment to innovation and diversity
  • Reform of teacher education and professional development

The manifesto is produced in partnership with the Scottish Policy Foundation, an independent, apolitical grant-making charitable foundation that works to promote objective policy research in order to inform public debate.

“Scottish school education is coasting. It lacks creativity, and it lacks the capacity for innovation.

“We should not disparage our schooling for poor quality, but nor should we deceive ourselves into believing that it is world-leading. It is not.

“If we want to be proud of our schooling system, and to be able to credibly claim it to be world-leading, we need seismic change. What the Commission proposes in this manifesto can be the start of a renaissance in Scotland’s schooling.

“However, it is up to politicians to make this happen. Our future is in their hands”

Keir Bloomer, Chair of the Commission on School Reform

On the proposal to abolish Education Scotland, Keir Bloomer said

“The attempt to combine inspection, policy development and support for teachers in a single agency has palpably failed. Education Scotland is not fit for purpose. New, and more effective, arrangements are urgently needed.”


An Education Manifesto for 2021 and Beyond