Greens welcome education reform proposals

Scottish Greens have welcomed proposed reforms laid out in a wide-reaching review of the education system by Professor Ken Muir.

After a litany of mistakes both during and before the pandemic, qualifications agency the SQA is to be scrapped and replaced, an independent inspectorate will also be established and the new governance structures across Scottish education will more directly involve pupils, teachers and parents/carers in decision-making.

Many of the Muir recommendations accepted by the Scottish Government reflect long-standing Green proposals and manifesto commitments.

Scottish Greens education spokesperson Ross Greer has been a longstanding critic of the SQA, successfully pushing for it to cease operations in Saudi Arabia and other oppressive regimes over human rights concerns and playing a key role in forcing the restoration of 124,565 grades which were lowered by the discriminatory ‘moderation’ algorithm used in 2020.

Responding to the report, Scottish Greens education spokesperson Ross Greer said:

“These reforms are exactly the kind of structural and cultural shake-up our education system needs. I know from years of holding the SQA to account that pupils, teachers, parents and carers have all felt ignored, so I am proud of the government’s commitment to ensure that the replacement bodies will give them a seat at the table when decisions are made.

“For too long the SQA and Education Scotland have appeared out of touch, hostile to feedback and lacking in transparency. As per the terms of our cooperation agreement, the Scottish Greens and SNP will now take these much-needed reforms forward. Working with the hundreds of talented staff at both bodies and their trade unions will be key to this process. They are certainly not to blame for years of management failures.

“There are a number of other welcome proposals in this comprehensive report which chime with Scottish Green manifesto commitments, such as the need to reduce bureaucracy and teacher workload, recognising the climate emergency as a key influence over what we need from our education system and greater support for pupils with additional needs. With Greens in Government we can make clear progress in improving Scottish education.”