Powers to decentralise decision making granted to Capital schools

John Swinney is to hand Headteachers more control in schools
John Swinney is to hand Headteachers more control in schools
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EXTENSIVE new powers for the Capital’s schools have been unveiled by the Deputy First Minister.

Speaking at Holyrood, John Swinney hailed the reforms as putting schools in charge of key decisions about children’s education.

Transferred powers include shaping the curriculum, raising grades, hiring staff and taking control of budgets.

“These proposals are driven by a relentless focus on delivering improvement in Scottish education to ensure our young people have the opportunity to succeed,” said Mr Sweeney.

New powers will be guaranteed in a statutory charter for headteachers – with a stronger role also outlined for students and parents.

The plans also include ‘home to school’ link workers to support parents and families for every school. Supporting the new powers will be enhanced career and development opportunities for staff.

Teachers will get access to teams of “attainment experts” drawn from local authorities and Education Scotland through new streamlined Regional Improvement Collaboratives.

Also available will be educational support services from local councils, including payroll, HR and headteacher selection.

“Improving the education and life chances of our children and young people is the defining mission of this government,” said Mr Swinney.

“While there are many strengths in Scottish education, recent PISA and literacy scores underline that we can, and we must, achieve more.”

Mr Swinney also announced plans for reforms to the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

The agency will be merged with other professional development bodies in a new Education Workforce Council for Scotland.

“We will reform the system so that the key decisions in a child’s education are taken by schools,” said Mr Swinney.

“We will free teachers to teach. We will put new powers in the hands of headteachers. And we will all – government, councils and public bodies – support our schools.”

City Conservative group chairman and education spokesman Councillor Jason Rust said: “Giving powers to parents and parent councils is much welcome.

“But there is a lack of clarity around the new boards and there is much to consider.

“The future role of local authorities and oversight by elected members requires to be carefully scrutinised.”

andy.shipley@jpress.co.uk