Review of Scotland’s new curriculum undermined by lack of evidence

The Herald Scotland is reporting warnings from experts that a major review of the implementation of Scotland’s troubled new curriculum is hamstrung by a lack of benchmarking…

The Royal Society of Edinburgh said a forthcoming investigation into the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) would find it impossible to draw “valid conclusions” about any impact of the reforms.

A report by the society’s education committee said the problem had arisen because no proper baseline assessments had been done before the introduction of CfE, while the Scottish Government has also withdrawn from a number of international educational surveys which benchmark quality.

The warning comes after ministers announced in September last year that experts from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) would be called in to evaluate the controversial reforms of what is taught in schools.

The Paris-based, set up to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world, is due to report in December 2015.

A report by the society’s education committee states: “The absence of a systematic programme of independent evaluation of CfE has been a long-standing and key concern of the education committee.

“Without high quality evaluation, not only do we not know what is going well and what is not, but we have no way of developing a proper understanding or an ability to plan so that improvements can be made.

“It is our understanding that the OECD review will not undertake an in-depth evaluation of the impact of CfE. Rather, it will adopt a broader, forward-looking perspective on how the CfE reforms are being implemented, making recommendations it deems to be appropriate.”

“…In order to establish an evidence base, independent monitoring and evaluation should have been explicit from the introduction of CfE. In the absence of such prior evidence, it is impossible to draw valid inferences about any effects of CfE.”…

More at: Review of Scotland’s new curriculum undermined by lack of evidence


It’s an interesting point raised by the Royal Society of Edinburgh – how is the Scottish Government going to know if the CfE is a success if there is insufficient pre- and post monitoring against external standards? Your thoughts? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Policy and Scotland.


  1. HughdjNicklin

    SchoolsImprove ‘Excellence’ says that this makes usual error. It’s a grammar school curriculum foisted on 65% for whom inappropriate.

  2. HughdjNicklin

    SchoolsImprove so expect knifings of tchrs & demotivated de-skilled unemployble alumni 2continue. ‘Evaluation’ wd miss elephant in the room

  3. HughdjNicklin

    SchoolsImprove Most of the ills of 2dy educ across the world shown in this piece. #ReadWriteBuySellCookCleanFix instead.

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