Our Common Future | Our Public Services


Everyone has the right to a good education, and the provision of education is one of the fundamental duties of the Scottish Government. The Scottish Greens have championed an education system that respects the rights of children, embraces diversity and equality, recognises the role of play, and is well-funded and adequately staffed. Teachers play a crucial role in our communities and in the lives of young people; the Greens are committed to ensuring this role is recognised and that all teachers are given fair pay and conditions in line with their responsibilities.

Green Impact

Scottish Green achievements in the last 5 years include:

  • Restored 124,565 grades that had been unfairly moderated down by the SQA following exam cancellations during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Negotiated an additional £150m with the Scottish Government to give teachers a fair pay rise in 2019
  • £45 million for the recruitment of 2,000 additional teachers or other key staff during the pandemic and regular voluntary Covid testing introduced for both school staff and senior pupils
  • Major changes to Personal and Social Education, so all young people receive consent-based sex education and content is co-designed by pupils


Teaching responsible citizenship is more important now than ever before.

We will:

  • Teach the future. This generation of young people will live their adult lives in an era defined by the climate emergency. The Scottish Greens will integrate climate education throughout both phases of the Curriculum for Excellence, ensure that teachers are properly supported through both Initial Teacher Education and Continuing Professional Development to deliver this, and give learning for sustainability greater prominence in inspections.
  • Teach the past. It is important that young people learn about the reality of British and Scottish history, including the empire and slavery, so that we can engage with it in a meaningful way and do what we can to right past wrongs.
  • Ensure young people know their rights at work, the role of trade unions, and how to self-organise.


The attainment gap remains stubbornly high in Scotland, with young people from lower-income backgrounds receiving far fewer opportunities than those from the most affluent communities.

We will:


The proliferation of indicators and measures in our education system has had a negative impact on teachers’ freedom to teach in a manner responsive to the needs of their pupils and in keeping with the ethos of Curriculum for Excellence. This has led to a significant and unnecessary increase in teacher workload.

We will:

  • Recruit more teachers. We will recruit 5,500 additional permanent teachers, an increase of 10%.
  • Reduce class sizes to a maximum of 20 pupils. Excessive class sizes mean less time spent with each pupil, undermining the quality of education they receive.
  • Lower teachers’ class contact time to 20 hours per week to ensure that they have the time to prepare high quality lessons.
  • Review the role of indicators and measures within CfE, with a view towards removing those which do not contribute to the delivery of quality education.
  • End P1-S3 Scottish National Standardised Assessments, which result in unnecessary stress and pressure for pupils and staff. In their place, we will bring back the Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy to monitor national performance


We believe that the focus during the first years of education should be on pupil health, happiness, and the development of social skills, rather than increasingly high homework burdens and frequent testing.

We will:


The Scottish Greens will work to ensure that secondary pupils are empowered to represent their own interests, that they are treatedfairly, able to attain qualifications that accurately reflect their abilities, are equipped with the skills and attributes which will allow them to thrive in adult life, and are supported through the challenges they may face in these formative years.

We will:


As we have developed a better understanding of additional support needs among young people, the number of pupils who are identified as in need of extra support has increased dramatically. Over a quarter of pupils in Scotland are identified as having an additional support need, with these needs varying dramatically in type and complexity. The vast majority of pupils with additional needs can be supported within mainstream schools with the right resources and the presumption to mainstream supports schools to do that. For young people with very high levels of additional needs, special schools will continue to provide the most appropriate education environment.

We will:


Scotland’s national education agencies, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and Education Scotland, are not fit for purpose. Both bodies require urgent reform if they are to rebuild the trust they have lost and deliver the quality of support which is required of them but has been sorely lacking for many years.

We will:


The Scottish Greens believe that higher education should be free and accessible to all, regardless of income and background. Education at all levels is a social good and thriving, diverse universities are of benefit to society at large.

We will:


Colleges in Scotland provide vital access to further and higher education and are a major driver of

our economy, particularly in the sectors critical to a green recovery from the pandemic. The Scottish

Greens will continue to support moves to recognise the high professional standard of college lecturers and improve working conditions in the sector.

We will:


Expand and improve early years provision

  • Ensure equal access to early years and childcare. We support the expansion of early learning and childcare to 1,140 hours and will work to implement as soon as possible, and will deliver equitable funding to all relevant childcare providers.
  • Give Them Time: Fully fund deferrals for younger children. We will bring forward to 2022 the guaranteed funding of an extra year of nursery provision for eligible four year olds whose parents/ carers choose to defer their Primary One start date.
  • Expand access to nursery teachers. While all children have a right to access nursery teachers, this is often not the case in reality. We will introduce new statutory guidance, which, in combination with increased early years funding, will finally see this right realised.


Ensure a rounded school experience for all

  • Guarantee every primary and secondary pupil at least one one-week residential outdoor experience.
  • Remove financial barriers from residential trips. We will establish a fund to assist families with the costs of going on primary school residential trips to ensure that no child is excluded due to their family income.
  • Expand outdoor play and learning provision. The outdoor environment helps child development, particularly problem-solving skills and assessing risk. We will ensure that all children and young people have regular access to outdoor learning.
  • Remove charges for instrumental music tuition. We will adequately fund local councils to ensure that there is no need to charge fees for instrumental music tuition.


Support appropriate international links


Value youth work

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