Education Reform: A Consultation on the provisions of the Education Bill

Closed 18 Dec 2023

Opened 7 Nov 2023

Feedback updated 5 Jun 2024

We asked

We asked for views on our proposals to replace the SQA and approaches to maximise the role inspection plays in providing assurance and supporting teachers and other practitioners to improve education in Scotland, including through legislation. The consultation opened on 7 November 2023 and closed on 18 December 2023.  

You said

We received a total of 386 responses; of these, 234 were from individuals and 152 were from organisations. 

There was general agreement on the need for a new qualifications body which works collaboratively with partners and stakeholders as part of a system-wide holistic approach. Generally, the proposals for increased involvement and representation in the body through adjustments to the Board and the introduction of an Advisory Committee and Charter were welcomed, although views varied on the future membership of the Board and Advisory Committee. 

On Inspection, 69% of respondents agreed with the purposes of inspection set out in the consultation and 66% agreed that education inspection should be provided to the full range of establishments and services set out. Views varied on the necessity of legislating for establishing a new approach to inspection, by way of creating the role of ‘HM Chief Inspector of Education’ as an independent office-holder and for an Advisory Council for the inspectorate to be established.  

A full analysis of the consultation is available on the Scottish government website. 

We did

The Scottish Government is grateful to those who took the time to provide a response to this consultation. The consultation responses have been independently analysed and the analysis report has now been published, along with the individual/organisation responses (where permission was granted). These responses have been carefully considered and we have sought to incorporate these views into the Education (Scotland) Bill. For instance, feedback showed that Qualifications Scotland would benefit from additional teaching experience on the Board of Management. We therefore doubled both the number of board members who are required to be providing teaching or training as a registered teacher and the number of board members who are providing relevant teaching or training in colleges from our original proposals (outlined in Schedule 1, Part 2 of the Bill). The Scottish Government introduced the Education (Scotland) Bill to Parliament on 4 June. 

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.



In March 2022 the Scottish Government announced that the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) would be replaced with a new qualifications body. It also announced its intention to establish a new independent inspectorate whilst also needing to understand how best to align education inspection with the wider inspection system.

These two announcements followed on from recommendations made by the Organisation for Economic Development (OECD) June 2021 report on Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence, and Professor Muir’s March 2022 report on Scotland’s national education bodies.

The Scottish Government is taking forward a significant programme of education and skills reform. It aims to reshape the ways in which we support improvement in the quality of teaching and learning and achieve improved outcomes and experiences for pupils and students in every setting. Establishing a new qualifications body, and delivering a new approach to inspection are important steps in improving and changing the education and skills system for the better, whilst building on all that is good in Scottish education and skills.

Consultation on a new qualifications body and approaches to inspection

The purpose of this consultation is to seek views on:

  • the proposals to replace the SQA.
  • approaches to maximise the role inspection plays in providing assurance and supporting teachers and other practitioners to improve education in Scotland, including through legislation.

Please read the consultation paper for an introduction to and details about the proposed new qualifications body and approaches to inspection.

The full consultation paper provides background information on education and skills reform, the case for change and further detail on the specific proposals and questions. 

Useful information about responding to this consultation

As you complete your response, each page will provide the option to 'Save and come back later' at the bottom. This means you can save your progress and return to the consultation at any time before it closes. If you don't use this feature and leave the consultation midway through, your response will be lost.

Once you have submitted your response, you can enter your email address to get a pdf copy of your answers sent to you.

On the 'About You' page at the end of this consultation, organisations will have the opportunity to tell us more about their work and/or how their response was informed.

After the consultation has closed there will be a few months delay before any responses are published. This is because we must check any responses to be published and abide by our Terms of Use.

An analysis report will usually be published some months after the consultation has closed. This report will summarise the findings based on all responses submitted. It will be published on the Scottish Government website and you may be notified about it if you choose to share your email address with us. You can also join our consulation mailing list where we regularly list newly published analysis reports (as well as new consultations).


Why your views matter

Your views will help shape how we establish a new qualifications body, and our approaches to inspection, so that they can deliver in the best interests for all in Scotland. We want to hear a wide variety of views from the public and those experiencing and working within our education and skills system. 

What happens next

Next steps in the process

Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public, and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, responses will be made available to the public at If you use Citizen Space to respond, you will receive a copy of your response via email. Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us. Responses will be published where we have been given permission to do so.


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