Performance and role of key public bodies


About the Inquiry

Picture of Scottish money

The Committee scrutinised four public bodies in advance of its scrutiny of the Scottish Government's Draft Budget 2017/18.  The four bodies are:

  • Skills Development Scotland;
  • Scottish Funding Council;
  • Scottish Qualifications Authority; and
  • Education Scotland.

The Committee looked at the performance of these bodies, particularly how they deliver the outcomes expected of them by the Scottish Government.  The Committee also asked how their strategic direction reflects the Christie Principles and their contribution to the Scottish Government’s climate change targets.

The scrutiny of these bodies fed into the Committee's scrutiny of the Draft Budget 2017/18, however, the Committee published a separate report on this work on 17 January 2017.  

This work follows on from the predecessor Education and Culture Committee's work on public bodies.  The Committee's focus on public bodies is also in line with the Finance Committee's guidance to subject committees on budget scrutiny.




The Committee heard from the Scottish Qualifications Authority on its perfomance and role on 11 September 2019 

You can view the meeting here

The Convener wrote to the SQA to follow up some points raised. You can read the correspondence from the convener and the response from the SQA below, along with a further follow-up letter from the Committee and the SQA response:


The SQA gave evidence again on 22 January 2020. The Committee wrote to the SQA afterwards and has received a response from the SQA.


The Committee wrote to the four bodies on Friday 16 September 2016 and sought a submission from each body on how they have performed against the outcomes expected of them.  Responses are expected in mid-October. 

Each organisation has provided oral evidence to the Committee on the following dates:

The Committee took further evidence from: 

The Committee held a debate in the Chamber on the evidence it had gathered on 12 January 2017.


The Committee was keen to hear from people on the impact of these bodies’ work on the lives of young people, in particular from young people, teachers, college lecturers, training providers, parents, apprentices, academics etc. We set up a survey to get views on practical experiences, and sought comments on how one or more of the organisations have helped in any way towards achieving goals of the people who are affected by the work of these bodies.

The Committee wanted people to be open when expressing their views and so agreed to accept anonymised submissions. These anonymised submissions, along with all our other submissions, are available by following the links below.

Correspondence and submissions are published here:

Written Evidence on the Budget


The Convener of the Finance and Constitution Committee has written to the Committee regarding the Scrutiny of the Draft Budget 2017/18.


The Committee published its report on the performance and role of key education and skills public bodies on Tuesday 17 January 2017.

The Scottish Government responded to the Committee's report and a letter of 26 January 2017 on the Curriculum for Excellence Management Board.


The Committee deemed the evidence it received in relation to these organisations to merit a Chamber debate of the whole Parliament.  This took place on Thursday 12 January.

An issues paper informing the debate was circulated to all MSP's.

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