As Scotland begins an academic year without historical precedent, The Herald is now launching a new campaign with our partners Apple, CGI, Young Enterprise Scotland and Skills Development Scotland that will explore what the future of education may look like ... and how to achieve this vision together

THERE IS no doubt Scotland was once a global trailblazer in its commitment to excellence in education. In fact, in the early 17th century, we became the first country in the world to provide universal education for both boys and girls.

Education, of course, continues to be a vitally important measure of any society’s past, present and future standing in the world – and Scotland remains a nation where a first-class education system is accessible to all. 

This is a sector which is not only focused on the basics of ensuring every child gets the best start in life, but also on innovation and adaptation.

And what has become increasingly clear over the past few months is that the continuing Covid-19 pandemic now presents us with an opportunity to prove ourselves as world leaders once again – a true once-in-a-lifetime chance to do things better in education.

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With recent disruption to the exam grading process sparking a major crisis for governments, students and higher education establishments, it’s clear that the pandemic will continue to have a profound impact on every single aspect of education in Scotland.

Whether it’s the rapid expansion of the use of technology in mainstream schooling or the still unknown effect of any major drop in the number of international students attending our colleges and universities, education in Scotland is about to experience progressive and fundamental change.

So, as we enter a new academic year, it’s with this almost overwhelming dynamic in mind that The Herald is launching a new campaign – The Future of Education. This campaign will provide a forum for debate and discussion around some of the challenges facing the education sector as students return to a school-based setting in ‘the new normal’.

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It will also seek to create an environment for parents, teachers, government, policy makers and wider civic Scotland to ask the question: “What should the future of Scotland’s education look like and how do we get there?”

Together with our dedicated partners, we will explore numerous topics and themes, such as: 

  • How can schools work within the safety guidelines imposed by the Scottish government to ensure children and young people still receive the best possible education?​
  • Will the education sector now fully embrace technology to deliver an education revolution for all and help close the attainment gap?
  • What does the post-pandemic future hold for our world-leading colleges and universities? 
  • How will the role of teachers change in the new learning landscape and what support do they need to adapt? 

These are just a few of the topics Future of Education campaign will set out to explore over the next 12 months. 

By bringing together the power of our audience reach and high quality editorial content, our campaign will seek to be the leading platform for debate around all the key issues,

in partnership with leading education institutions, commercial organisations and public bodies. We will also look to bring high profile thought leaders together for debates through a series of webinars and digital round-tables.

The Herald’s The Future of Education campaign will seek to drive the national debate, influence the decision-makers and chart the changes that are about to unfold over the coming academic year.

The Herald's current partners in The Future of Education are:

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CGI

Vice President, Scotland, Lindsay McGranaghan said: “Today's youngsters are all ‘digital natives’ and the appliance of technology in the classroom has become fundamental to the delivery of quality education at all levels – not only directly benefiting academic performance but also assisting schools and higher learning institutions in delivering their visions and goals.

“CGI’s Empowered Learning programme has already allowed Scotland’s educators, learners and parents to take full advantage of digital technology opportunities by successfully partnering with many dedicated teaching professionals and institutions across the country. 

“We now aim to expand upon developing these new skillsets and also build confidence in both students and educators, ensuring that access to digital learning tools and technology is central in all areas of the curriculum and assessment.

“CGI’s work aims to ensure that no child is left out of the digital revolution and that educators are trained and supported on the journey towards building the classrooms of the future. 

“We are looking forward to communicating CGI’s progress towards these shared goals through the new Future of Education campaign."

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Young Enterprise Scotland

CEO Geoff Leask said: “Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) is the leading enterprise education charity in Scotland, helping young people achieve a rewarding future in work and life, no matter where their journey starts.

“We achieve this by inspiring and equipping young people, irrespective of their background, to reach their full potential by embracing an enterprising mindset and learning entrepreneurial skills.

“As our education system starts a year that will be very different to anything encountered previously, YES is adapting its approach to engaging with schools and colleges. 

“We are innovative, collaborative and have future proofed our programmes to ensure that the learners of today gain the enterprise skills that will be critical to the success of the nation.

“That is the reason why YES is delighted to be a key partner with this critical campaign that asks the question, what should the future of education look like and how do we get there?”

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Apple
DURING its 40-year history in education Apple has learned first-hand the impact that technology can have in the classroom. When students and teachers are engaged in learning together they discover more and create more. 

Creativity makes students better communicators and problem solvers. It prepares them to thrive in today’s world – and to shape tomorrow’s. 

Apple’s goal is to help teachers inspire students and unleash their creativity, with powerful products like iPad and Mac, as well as apps and resources for highly engaging learning experiences. 

Everyone Can Create and Everyone Can Code are free curriculums designed by Apple, available to all. Everyone Can Create is a range of free learning resources that makes it  easy for teachers to use technology to integrate creative disciplines like drawing, music, filmmaking, photography into their existing lesson plans for any subject.  

Apple sees coding as an essential literacy, a way to help students think critically and creatively and learn problem-solving techniques. 
We’ve seen first-hand how coding has transformed the global economy, creating entire new industries.

Apple’s free Everyone Can Code and Develop in Swift programmes are flexible enough to support students of all ages, those brand new to coding and those with more advanced skills, preparing them for future careers.

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Skills Development Scotland

James Russell, Director of Career Information Advice and Guidance Operations said: “THE events of recent months have brought home to all of us just how valuable our education and learning system is in creating the sort of society we all want to live in.

“This is increasingly relevant not just for our young people, but for people throughout their working lives as the world changes, requiring a focus not only on knowledge but on social and emotional abilities like empathy, leadership, creativity and curiosity.

“The more we value such learning, the more we’ll develop a collective mindset that can breed confidence, encourage growth and help us face new challenges. SDS is committed to working with partners to continue creating such a system that values these human qualities, and this campaign is a welcome platform for discussing this work.”

  • Want to become a partner in The Future Of Education? Contact Stephen McDevitt, Head of Digital and Branded Content stephen.mcdevitt@localiq.co.uk