Scotland Policy Conferences

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
For delegates already booked on, we will send you the online joining instructions (including links, event numbers and passwords) five working days before your conference. If you cannot find these in your inbox please email

Early Years provision: expanding childcare, growing and diversifying the workforce, and the future for the Scottish National Standardised Assessments

March 2020

This conference will examine the next steps for early years education in Scotland, focusing on child development in the early years.

Areas for discussion include:

  • Expanding funded childcare - progress in implementation and its wider impact;
  • Developing the early years workforce - improving recruitment, diversifying the workforce, and supporting learning and development; and
  • The future of Scottish National Standardised Assessments (SNSA) for P1 pupils - addressing concerns and implementation.


There will be keynote contributions from:

  • Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Children and Young People - on the expansion of funded childcare;
  • Jean Carwood-Edwards, Chief Executive, Early Years Scotland - on sector priorities and ensuring high quality provision; and
  • David Leng, Professional Advisor, The Scottish Government - on the implementation of Standardised Assessments for P1 pupils and addressing concerns.

Further confirmed speakers include: Jackie Galbraith, West Lothian College; Margot MacAlister, St Francis Primary School, Edinburgh; Dr Geetha Marcus, Queen Margaret University; Khadija Mohammed, Working Group for Diversity in the Teaching Profession; Sue Palmer, Upstart Scotland; Jane Peckham, NASUWT Scotland; Eileen Prior, Connect;  Victoria Smith, Angus Council; Kenny Spence, Men in Childcare; Cameron Sprague, Stramash Fort William Outdoor Nursery and Doreen Watson, Care Inspectorate.

The agenda

  • Building a flexible and high-quality early years system;
  • Progress and next steps: expanding funded childcare and addressing disadvantage in the early years;
  • Supporting, growing and diversifying the early years workforce - recruitment and staff development;
  • Key sector priorities - ensuring high quality provision;
  • The future of Scottish National Standardised Assessments (SNSA) for P1 pupils - addressing concerns and implementation; and
  • The next steps for the SNSA - stakeholder perspectives on implementation.

Engagement with policy officials at this conference

Seminars organised by Scotland Policy Conferences typically attract strong interest from policymakers. This seminar will be an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with a range of interested officials who have reserved places representing: The Scottish Government; the Care Inspectorate; Education Scotland and Safety Scotland.

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

Shortly after every Scotland Policy Conferences seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes


Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval

Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda


Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates