Leadership without power
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Leadership without power. What is curriculum for excellence?. Curriculum for excellence will raise standards and help improve achievements for 3-18 year olds. This means improving learning and teaching for our children, however, wherever and whatever they learn.

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Leadership without power

Leadership without power

What is curriculum for excellence

What is curriculum for excellence?

  • Curriculum for excellence will raise standards and help improve achievements for 3-18 year olds. This means improving learning and teaching for our children, however, wherever and whatever they learn.

  • The aim of curriculum for excellence is to bring learning to life and life to learning by raising standards, broadening knowledge and developing skills.

The three pillars

The three pillars


It’s raising standards of education to meet the increasing challenges of a changing world – preparing our young people for the unknown. Higher standards will be expected than at present to equip our children for the increasing complexity of the world. Standards will be monitored by schools, centres, HMIE and Local Authorities.

The three pillars cont

The three pillars cont.


It’s bringinglearning to life – building on the many ways that teachers already make learning engaging. It offers experiences around real life issues, working in groups, working outside the classroom, working in different environments with interesting materials and tools.

The three pillars cont1

The three pillars cont.


It’s bringing real life to learning – making learning relevant to the world young people live in; developing skills for learning, life and work.

Everyone will develop important skills in literacy and numeracy that will underpin all learning. Industry and enterprise will offer opportunities for young people to develop skills needed for the world of work.

More rigorous assessments

More rigorous assessments

Ongoing assessment by the teacher will provide a rich picture of how much young people know, how well they are doing and what they need to learn next to progress.

From time to time teachers will summarise children’s progress through the curriculum for excellence levels.

More rigorous assessments cont

More rigorous assessments cont.

In these cases the outcome is based on the teacher’s knowledge of the young person’s abilities. Where necessary, joint assessments with specialists like speech therapists will help teachers plan and work together with other professionals to support young people.

Professionals are encouraged to see the whole child – recognising their achievements in and out of school – from sport and volunteering, to the Duke of Edinburgh award.

Life skills for learning

Life skills for learning

All teachers are responsible for 3 fundamental aspects of learning: literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing.

Literacy - reading, writing, interpreting information, spoken language, using computers, film and new media.

Numeracy - arithmetic, numbers, calculations, finance.

Life skills for learning cont

Life skills for learning cont.

Literacy and numeracy skills help children grasp every other subject and are vital for work and throughout life.

Health and wellbeing - nurturing mental, emotional, social and physical skills to develop self-esteem and positive relationships; and to pursue a healthy lifestyle and fulfil children’s potential. It covers topics from nutrition to exercise, healthy eating to drink/drug awareness, anti-bullying to buddy schemes.

What will children experience

What will children experience?

  • Child centered learning

  • More engagement with learning

  • Opportunity to learn according to their needs and interests

  • Making connections between subjects and levels

  • A broad and deep education

  • Far-reaching support

Active learning

Active learning

This means encouraging children to ask questions, seek answers for themselves, work together and discuss ideas, challenge and come up with their own solutions.

It’s proactive learning; taking responsibility for learning; taking an active interest.

What does it mean for professionals

What does it mean for professionals?

  • Trusting professionals

  • Building on the best

  • Personal development

Trusting professionals

Trusting professionals

Curriculum for excellence marks a shift from prescriptive guidance to more professional freedom and responsibility.

It provides broad guidance on the kinds of experiences and outcomes that the curriculum should provide for all children and young people and then gives professionals the responsibility to work together to make it work.

Teachers and practitioners work with other professionals – like speech therapists, health and social workers to plan a child’s support.

Building on the best

Building on the best

There have always been inspiring teachers. Now teachers are sharing ideas, good practice and experiences through GLOW, an online community that is a world first for Scotland. All teachers will be able to learn from the best.

The dilemmas

The dilemmas

  • Take control or wait

  • Active or passive

  • Fill the vacuum or moan when someone else does

  • Courage or caution

  • Leaders or victims

What do we need from leaders

What do we need from leaders?

  • Certainty (where possible), confidence at least

  • Early anticipation/creative response

  • Clarity - of purpose and of expectations

  • Cohesion

  • Engagement

  • Direction and support

What do leaders need

What do leaders need?

  • Clarity

  • Commitment

  • Courage

  • Collegiality

In this context

In this context….

  • Leadership has to be collegiate

  • It concerns leading people not managing institutions

  • It has to be founded on belief, knowledge and understanding

  • It requires skill

  • It needs purpose

  • It has to be informed by evidence

  • It must be judged by outcomes

The challenge of role

The challenge of role

  • Leadership without power

  • across interfaces

  • through influence

  • by indulgence

Your role

Your role?

  • Be clear about your commitment, model it

  • Bring your expertise to the big questions

  • Encourage clarity

  • Know how to recognise good practice and consistently demonstrate it

  • Praise and disseminate

  • Establish the partnerships



  • Do you agree about the nature of the change that CfE will bring?

  • Do you accept the role outlined?

  • Do you agree that there are challenges/limitations on their role?

  • How can these best be overcome?

  • Which of these strategies and suggestions would we want to share?

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