Let’s Talk Scottish Education

Scottish government logo and Convention of Scottish local authorities logo

The listening phase of the National Discussion on Education took place between September 21 and December 5.

It was an unprecedented opportunity for children and young people, parents and carers and educators to give their views about what the education system should look like for the next 20 years.

We have had an incredible response to the listening phase. Below is just some of the activity which took place:

  • events and discussions took place in every part of Scotland, from Shetland to the Borders, led by schools, community groups and third sector organisations
  • we received feedback in a host of different ways – including drawings, mindmaps and videos
  • 5,741 survey and email responses were received
  • over 200 group responses were submitted
  • 26,000 pupils and students attended online assemblies
  • more than 80 people attended a series of online public events.
  • more than 6,000 posts on Twitter about the National Discussion using the hashtag #TalkScottishEducation
  • more than 10 million social media users have seen the hashtag

Thank you to everyone who took the time to get involved in the National Discussion. We are incredibly grateful for your feedback. It is vital to developing a vision which meets the needs and aspirations of everyone in Scotland.

What’s next?

Consultation analysis is now underway, and we are considering all the evidence we have gathered through the listening phase. In Spring next year we will publish a Call to Action and a vision which will set out short, medium and long-term aims for the future based on these findings.

Once the analysis has been done, the independent facilitators of the National Discussion will consider all the responses and develop a call to action and vision.

We are keen that we continue to involve key groups and individuals in shaping this vision in a meaningful way, to ensure that their feedback is reflected in the vision and that this is as inclusive as possible.


Why are we having a National Discussion?

There is some great learning taking place in Scottish education. Here are just some success stories.


There is excellent work taking place in education across Scotland, supporting our learners to reach their potential.

However, the world around us has changed a lot since the last time a national debate was held on education. We need to think ahead to the kind of education, skills and support learners need now and in the future. This will make sure we continue to provide a great education for all.

Education plays a key role in finding solutions to global and local challenges and in making sure children’s rights are respected.

That’s why we need to listen carefully to learners, parents, teachers, school staff and everyone who has an interest in the future of education. We want to hear in particular from those who we have not heard from in previous listening exercises.

We want a future vision for education, and to understand how to make this vision a reality with practical ideas. This is a chance to pause, reflect and contribute to an exciting future vision for education in Scotland.