Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence

Into the Future

Students in Scotland (United Kingdom) engage in learning through Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), which aims to provide them with a holistic, coherent, and future-oriented approach to learning between the ages of 3 and 18. CfE offers an inspiring and widely supported philosophy of education. Schools design their own curriculum based on a common framework which allows for effective curricular practices. In 2020, Scotland invited the OECD to assess the implementation of CfE in primary and secondary schools to understand how school curricula have been designed and implemented in recent years. This report analyses the progress made with CfE since 2015, building upon several months of observations in Scotland, the existing literature and experiences from other OECD countries. The OECD analysis and recommendations aim to support Scotland as it further enhances CfE to achieve its potential for the present and future of its learners. Just as Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence was among the pioneers of 21st century learning, its most recent developments hold valuable lessons for other education systems and their own curriculum policies.

Published on June 21, 2021

In series:Implementing Education Policiesview more titles


Acronyms and abbreviations
Executive summary
The Scottish education system in context
The design and implementation of Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence
Stakeholder engagement at the heart of Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence
Towards a coherent policy environment for Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence
Considerations for the future of Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence
Annexes2 chapters available
OECD assessment team members
Schedule of the OECD visits to Scotland (United Kingdom)
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