Charity Calls on Scottish Government to Include Armed Forces Young People in OECD Consultation

The Scottish Government last year commissioned the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to carry out a review of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE). The remit of the review was to help better understand how the curriculum is being designed and implemented in schools and to identify areas for improvement across Scotland.

Following the publication of the OECD review this week, the Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville announced that all twelve of the review’s recommendations will be accepted in full, including recommendations on curriculum, assessment and qualifications which will see the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) replaced and Education Scotland substantially reformed.

The Scottish Government will actively consider what changes are required to qualifications and assessment system. This work will be heavily informed by the next OECD report, which is expected to be published later in the autumn, and will involve a process of consultation with young people, parents, teachers and the wider education system.

The review has stated that although CfE has stood the test of time, it will only remain relevant if Scotland uses these insights to continue its development and that many gaps currently exist between stakeholder involvement and subsequent impact on effective enhancements towards the implementation of CfE both now and in the future.

Scotland’s Armed Forces Children’s Charity, the Royal Caledonian Education Trust, warmly welcomes the twelve recommendations published within the OECD review and is pleased to observe the impact which poverty has on attainment being recognised as well as the call for greater, systematic collaboration towards future enhancements of CfE.

Royal Caledonian Education Trust works directly with children and young people, from serving personnel and veteran families, to overcome unique challenges to education, learning and progression pathways to college and university. The charity directly worked with beneficiaries to co-produce the charity’s first ever Manifesto, ahead of the Scottish Parliament elections earlier this year.

Within the Manifesto, the voice of children and young people, from serving personnel and veteran families across Scotland, made it very clear they feel that they are a seldom-heard group when it comes to many important decisions being made about matters which directly affect them and the charity hopes the unique experiences of Armed Forces young people will be represented during the forthcoming process of consultation.

Royal Caledonian Education Trust Chief Executive Officer, Laura Falconer, said:

“We warmly welcome recognition of the need to ensure stable, purposeful and impactful stakeholder involvement, particularly with students themselves and we strongly urge that such involvement should extend to all groups particularly those that are seldom-heard, such as children and young people, from serving personnel and veteran families across Scotland. It is clear that addressing the attainment gap cannot be achieved by education alone and it must involve a broader coalition to help better understand how the curriculum is designed and implemented in schools. It is essential seldom-heard groups, like children and young people from Armed Forces families participate in the forthcoming consultative process, whose unique experiences will make an invaluable contribution to future enhancements within CfE.”