– Scottish Parliament written question – answered on 8th October 2009.

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Photo of Bob Doris Bob Doris Scottish National Party

Question S3W-28071

To ask the Scottish Executive what recommendations have been agreed following the review of Learning and Teaching Scotland.

Photo of Keith Brown Keith Brown Scottish National Party

I am pleased to be able to announce to Parliament the outcome of the review of Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS).

The review has taken place as part of the simplification of the public sector landscape. A fundamental review of LTS was undertaken and, more importantly, the tasks and functions that the education community requires from national bodies and from government.

The findings of the review clearly indicate that there is a need for a national body that provides guidance, support and advice on matters related to learning and teaching, the curriculum, Glow and ICT in schools, and that Learning and Teaching Scotland should undertake this role, in conjunction with other organisations where appropriate.

Having considered the findings I have agreed the following recommendations. These are that:

LTS should be retained as an non-departmental public body,

LTS should have a core remit of areas for which it has lead responsibility (see below for further details),

LTS should make contributions to a number of other areas where it is important that it is involved,

LTS and the Scottish Government to agree additional areas where it may make a contribution,

A process should be established to ensure that the annual work plan of LTS is formally agreed with COSLA as well as the Scottish Government,

LTS should have a single budget allocation from the Scottish Government that is negotiated annually although it is recognised that amount may need to be revised in year if circumstances change.

COSLA has agreed to be involved in an annual discussion with LTS about setting of the priorities for the organisation. In addition, COSLA will nominate a representative as observer to provide advice to the LTS board.

The Scottish Government will now work with Learning and Teaching Scotland to implement the recommendations, involving other key stakeholders.

Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS) Core Remit:

Curriculum – to keep the curriculum 3-18 under review and provide advice and support, including quality assured resources, on the curriculum 3-18 to ministers and the education system;

Assessment – to provide advice and support to ministers and the education system on assessment to support learning, with support from SQA as appropriate, and to work with SQA to ensure the availability of quality assured resources to support assessment;

Glow and ICT in Schools – to provide advice and support to ministers and the education system on the use of ICT to support education, to establish and maintain technology standards for education, to ensure practitioners have easy online access to advice and support, including digital resources and to manage the provision of the national ICT infrastructure to support education, currently Glow, the LTS online service and the local authority Interconnect;

As a public body, LTS will have a number of generic core responsibilities (in addition to its various legal duties), including:

Ensuring the services it provides are high quality, continually improving, efficient and responsive to need (National Outcome 15 in the National Performance Framework),

Ensuring that everything it does contributes to creating a more successful country with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish through sustainable economic growth (the National Purpose in the Government Economic Strategy),

Ensuring it works with other public bodies to make a planned contribution to the achievement of the National Outcomes that maximises outcomes and minimises net public sector costs.

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