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United-Kingdom-Scotland:Overview

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Overview United Kingdom (Scotland)

Contents

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Historical Development

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Political and Economic Situation

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Organisation and Governance

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Lifelong Learning Strategy

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Organisation of Private Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:National Qualifications Framework

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Funding in Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Higher Education Funding

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Adult Education and Training Funding

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Early Childhood Education and Care

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Primary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Organisation of Primary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Assessment in Primary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Organisation of General and Vocational Upper Secondary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Teaching and Learning in General and Vocational Upper Secondary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Assessment in General and Vocational Upper Secondary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Types of Higher Education Institutions

United-Kingdom-Scotland:First Cycle Programmes

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Bachelor

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Short-Cycle Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Second Cycle Programmes

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Adult Education and Training

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Distribution of Responsibilities

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Main Providers

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Main Types of Provision

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Teachers and Education Staff

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Management and Other Education Staff

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Management Staff for Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Quality Assurance

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Educational Support and Guidance

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Mobility and Internationalisation

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Mobility in Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

United-Kingdom-Scotland:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

United-Kingdom-Scotland:National Reforms in School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

United-Kingdom-Scotland:National Reforms in Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

United-Kingdom-Scotland:European Perspective

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Legislation

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Glossary

Key features of the education system

The Scottish education system has historically been different from other regions of the United Kingdom, characterised by a pursuit of consensus and a decentralisation of many aspects of the education system to local authorities. The Scotland Act 1998 gave the Scottish parliment legilsative control over all areas of education within Scotland.

Broad national policy for all aspects of Scottish education is laid down by the Scottish Government through the Cabinet Secretary for Education and skills, and the Directorates for Learning; Children and Families; Advanced Learning and Science; and Fair Work. In terms of the curriculum, individual schools possess a large amount of discretion over what the students are taught in class (outside of the core subjects of health and wellbeing, literacy, and numeracy which have to be covered), with the Scottish government primarily providing general guidelines on the school curriculum.

Responsibility for organising and staffing provision within the Government’s broad policy guidelines is decentralised. Organisation and staffing of pre-school and school education are the responsibility of local government councils, which receive government funding and local tax revenues. They make their own decisions about the proportion of their funding to spend on education. There is a small amount of private educational provision in the schools sector.

Several agencies work in association with these directorates: Education Scotland supports quality and improvement in education; the Scottish Qualifications Authority develops, assesses and awards qualifications; the Scottish Funding Council is responsible for funding teaching and learning provision, research and other activities in colleges, universities and higher education institutions.

In terms of early childcare provision, there is an entitlement to a free, part-time early learning and childcare place for all 3- and 4-year olds whose parents wish it. Whilst compulsory education begins between the ages of  4½ and 5½ depending on when the child's birthday falls.

Higher Education is provided by 16 autonomous universities and 3 Higher Education Institutions, which receive government funding through the Scottish Funding Council.

Adult Education includes training and further education in autonomous colleges (also funded by the Scottish Funding Council), and community learning and development provided by a range of bodies, including local councils.

Stages of the education system

Education is compulsory between the ages of 5 and 16. The stages of Scottish education are as follows:

  • ISCED 0: Early learning and childcare (optional): age 0-5; takes place in establishments of pre-school education providers in the public, private or voluntary sectors.
  • ISCED 1: Primary education (compulsory): age 5-12; takes place in Primary schools.
  • ISCED 2: Secondary education (compulsory): age 12-16; takes place in Secondary schools (comprehensive and (almost all) co-educational). 15 is seen as the transitionary stage between compulsary education, and the preparation for higher education.
  • ISCED 3: Upper Secondary education (optional): age 16-18; takes place predominantly in secondary schools, but can also take place in colleges; subjects are studied at different levels for National Qualifications.
  • ISCED 3: Vocational training: age 16+; undertaken with independent providers or in colleges; Scottish Vocational Qualifications.
  • ISCED 3: Further and higher education: age 16+ ; taken in colleges; courses are either non-advanced (further education) or advanced (higher education).
  • ISCED 5,6,7: Higher education: taken in higher education institutions (universities and colleges); courses comprise degree level, Higher National Certificate, Higher National Diploma and professional training courses, post-graduate degree level.

In 2015, the Scottish education system provided education for 679,840 school pupils in 2,543 (publicly funded) schools. In 2013/14 there were 238,399 students attending Scotland’s 25 colleges and 230,805 students enrolled at Scotland’s 19 higher education institutions. The total expenditure on education and training was £7,599 million in 2013/14 (the equivalent of 5.6% of the Gross Domestic Product).

English is the official language of government, business, education, the law and other professions. It is spoken everywhere in Scotland, alongside Scottish-English (including various forms of modern Scots) in most areas and Gaelic in parts of the Highlands and many of the Western Isles. Gaelic is now taught at all levels of education.

For further information, please consult the introduction articles of 'Organisation and Governance' and of each educational level: 'Early Childhood Education and Care', 'Primary Education', 'Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education', 'Higher Education' and 'Adult Education and Training'.

For a brief description of other main topics regarding the national education system, please read the introduction article of ‘Funding in Education’, ‘Teachers and Education Staff’, ‘Management and other Education Staff’, ‘Educational Support and Guidance’, ‘Quality Assurance’, and ‘Mobility and Internationalisation’.

For information on recently adopted or planned reforms and policy measures, please consult the topic ‘Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments’.

While Eurypedia provides comprehensive and comparable information, further information can also be found on the website of the Scottish Government, as well as those of Education Scotland, Skills Development Scotland, the Scottish Qualifications Authority, the Scottish Funding Council, and Universities Scotland

 

Structure of the national education system

2016 diagram UK SCT.pngsource: Eurydice 2016


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