Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Search the National Improvement Hub

National Improvement Framework

Last updated:
23 February 2017

What is this?

​The National Improvement Framework is one of the most significant policy developments in Scottish education over the last 10 years. The Framework sets out a vision based on achieving excellence and equity for all, regardless of pupils' social background and circumstances.

Who is this for?

​The Framework sets out four priority areas for change, which provide a shared focus for all partners to work together to make that vision a reality.

The National Improvement Framework for Scottish Education was announced as the centrepiece of the Programme for Government in September 2015.  Following a period of consultation on a draft Framework, the final publication was launched by the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, on 6 January 2016 at the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement  in Glasgow. 

The publication sets out four key priorities that everyone in Scottish education should be working towards: 

  • Improvement in attainment, particularly in literacy and numeracy;
  • Closing the attainment gap between the most and least disadvantaged children;
  • Improvement in children's and young people’s health and wellbeing; and
  • Improvement in employability skills and sustained, positive school leaver destinations for all young people

The Framework builds on a strong record of improvement and will drive work to continually improve Scottish education and close the attainment gap, delivering both excellence and equity.  Alongside the Scottish Attainment Challenge, the Framework aims to raise attainment and ensure equalities of outcomes for all children and young people.  As part of the Education (Scotland) Act 2016, the reporting procedures for the Framework have been placed on a statutory footing. 

The Framework identifies 6 key drivers of improvement – progress across all of these is needed to deliver the improvements we want to see for all children:

  • School leadership
  • Teacher professionalism
  • Parental engagement
  • Assessment of children’s progress
  • School improvement
  • Performance information

Driving Excellence and Equity: Advice on School Improvement Planning 2017/18

Following the initial advice note issued in March 2016 further advice and support has been created on how partnership can work constructively, to create a meaningful improvement plan. 

This resource is for schools, working with parents, carers, partners and their local communities. 

Schools should engage with all local stakeholders, with a particular emphasis on parents and carers, to create a shared improvement plan.  The increased emphasis on partnership approaches is intended to achieve greater impact on children’s and young people’s attainment and achievement.

Securing the widespread support of the school community will help achieve significant, positive impact on children’s and young people’s experiences and outcomes.

To find out more go to our Driving Excellence and Equity: Advice on School Improvement Planning 2017/18 page.

Related link(s)


Improvement Frameworks and Tools; National Improvement Framework