Curriculum for Excellence: making the transition from policy intention to classroom practice



Priestley M & Drew V (2017) Curriculum for Excellence: making the transition from policy intention to classroom practice. Scottish Educational Journal (SEJ), 101 (3), pp. 20-21.

First paragraph: Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), which seemed so radical in its early days, is now part of the educational landscape in Scotland. It seems odd to reflect that its inception in policy began as long ago as 2004, and we are shortly to enter the seventh year of its implementation phase. Moreover, CfE looks as if it is here to stay, for the foreseeable future at least. The 2015 OECD report (, while offering criticism of the curriculum’s implementation, was broadly supportive of the general direction taken by CfE. Other countries are following suit (e.g. Junior Cycle reforms in Ireland, Successful Futures in Wales, and the New Zealand Curriculum Framework), and this approach to specifying national curricula, which marks a significant departure from previous directions (see Priestley & Biesta, 2013), is now the predominant approach for curriculum innovation in many countries. A particular change in focus – one that is very welcome in our view – has been the renewed emphasis in policy on the role of the teacher as an active developer of the curriculum and an agent of change. Such policy is now acknowledging the importance of teachers’ professional agency (for an overview see; a more detailed account is provided by Priestley, Biesta & Robinson, 2015).

Scottish Educational Journal (SEJ): Volume 101, Issue 3

Type of mediaScottish Educational Journal
Publication date30/06/2017
Date accepted by journal01/06/2017
Publisher URL…SEJjune17WEB.pdf
Place of publicationEdinburgh

People (2)


Dr Valerie Drew

Dr Valerie Drew

Lecturer in Education Leadership, Education

Professor Mark Priestley

Professor Mark Priestley

Professor, Education