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National Improvement Framework for Scottish Education

Posted 23/11/2015

The draft National Improvement Framework for Scottish Education has the twin aims of improving attainment overall while also closing the gap between the most and least disadvantaged children.  A key component of the Framework is the development of a new national standardised assessment, focussed on literacy and numeracy, for children in primaries 1, 4, 7 and in S3.

The RSE hosted a roundtable discussion on 4th November 2015, bringing together around 25 education researchers from across Scotland and Scottish Government senior officials to discuss and inform the development of the Framework.

The full meeting report is available from here. It makes clear that:

  • To address the attainment gap, it is essential to develop a better understanding of the ‘gap’ and how poverty and other factors lead to poorer educational outcomes.
  • The key question relating to achievement of the aims asks how schools and families can contribute effectively to improving attainment, but this is not addressed in the draft Framework.
  • While summative assessment has some value, it does not offer the required diagnostic assessment for improvement of individual pupils’ learning to close the gap across the whole curriculum.
  • A fully costed implementation plan providing detailed information, guidance and support on the delivery of the Framework’s priorities and drivers should be published.


The collaborative Learned Societies’ Group on Scottish Science Education (LSG), of which the RSE is a member, has also responded to the draft Framework. The LSG response is available from here.

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