The SERA lecture 2016: "Jigsaw Puzzle" of education policy? Nation, state and globalised policy making

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Education policy is a key devolved policy arena in which there are considerable tensions between and within institutions, within and across Scotland and the UK, and in relations with Europe. It may be assumed such tensions could increase during the process of Brexit and the implementation of the 2016 Scotland Act (Arnott 2016; Arnott and Ozga 2016). The article considers the changing context, political and constitutional, in which educational policy has developed in Scotland in recent years and reflects on possible implications for the future of governance of UK and UK territorial politics. Since 2007 the SNP Scottish Government has used education as a policy area where it could blend political and civic forms of nationalism through referring ‘inwards’ to myths and traditions which draw on the public form of education and ‘outwards’ to selected European and Nordic comparisons to education’s role in economic progress (Arnott and Ozga, 2010a; 2010b; Arnott, 2012, 2016). The Scottish Government has made explicit links between economic growth and social justice, with education performing a key role in policy interventions aimed at creating a ‘fairer society’ and alienating problems of poverty
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-14
Number of pages12
JournalScottish Educational Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2017


  • education
  • Scotland
  • devolution
  • policy


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