Evaluation of curriculum design in Scotland: Methodology

HM Inspectors visited 50 settings and schools within the early learning and childcare (ELC), primary, secondary and special sectors during academic session 2022 to 2023. Schools in the independent sector were out of the scope of this work. The settings and schools were nominated by all 32 Scottish local authorities.

Before the inspection visits, headteachers and heads of ELC settings undertook self-evaluation of their current approaches, strengths and challenges in relation to designing the curriculum. HM Inspectors used this information as the starting point for their discussions.

During the inspection visits, HM Inspectors spoke with learners, teachers, practitioners, parents/carers and partners. They observed learning, reviewed curriculum programmes and documentation, and discussed approaches to curriculum design. HM Inspectors shared verbal feedback with senior leaders at the end of each visit.

This report provides the professional view of HM Inspectors. Evidence is drawn from the selection of 50 schools and settings, alongside broader inspection evidence about the curriculum.