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29 June 2016, 07:21
John Swinney has set out Scottish Government plans to deliver a "world-class'' education system and boost attainment over the next five years.
Under the Education Delivery Plan, ministers have pledged to ease pressure on teachers by streamlining the current range of curriculum guidance and introducing a simpler set of key resources for the profession by January next year.
There will be a focus on investing in teachers and their skills to ensure a "highly qualified and empowered'' staff.
A review will also be launched to examine giving schools and communities more power over funding and decision-making.
The plan was drawn up following engagement with pupils, teachers, parents, local authorities and unions.
Education Secretary Mr Swinney said: "We will de-clutter the curriculum and strip away anything that creates unnecessary workload for teachers and learners, and we will take forward a new programme of reducing workload in schools.
"I will directly oversee this activity supported by a panel of teachers whose voice and experience will inform what is taken forward.
"We must create the right structures to encourage and enable everyone to participate fully in school life.
"Today marks the start of a new journey for Scottish education that will ensure we realise our ambition for excellence and equity for every child and young person in Scotland.''
The EIS union said teachers welcomed the plan's emphasis on reducing excessive workload and streamlining the Curriculum for Excellence.
General secretary Larry Flanagan said: "The EIS will study the proposals regarding the review of school governance and funding closely, and will play an active part in this debate.
"If these proposals are about enhancing support for schools, and ensuring that teachers have a fair say in the allocation of resources for learning and teaching, then this will be welcome.
"However, if there is any suggestion of centralising control of schools and reducing the role of democratically elected local authorities in running education, that would be an issue of huge concern for the teaching profession.''