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Education Culture and Sport Committee

6th Report 2003

Report on Inquiry into the Purposes of Scottish Education
Volume 1 - Report

 

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SP Paper 815

Session 1 (2003)

 

Remit and membership

Remit:

To consider and report on matters relating to school and pre-school education and such other matters as fall within the responsibility of the Minister for Education and Young People; and on matters relating to culture and sport and such other matters, excluding tourism, as fall within the responsibility of the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport. (As agreed by resolution of the Parliament on 13 June 2002)

Membership:

Committee Substitutes:

Karen Gillon (Convener)

Murdo Fraser1

Jackie Baillie2

Marilyn Livingstone3

Ian Jenkins

Fiona McLeod4

Frank McAveety5

Karen Whitefield6

Irene McGugan

 

Mr Brian Monteith

 

Cathy Peattie (Deputy Convener)7

 

Michael Russell

 
   

Committee Clerking Team:

 

Clerk to the Committee

 

Martin Verity

 
   

Senior Assistant Clerk

 

Susan Duffy8

 

Judith Evans9

 
   

Assistant Clerk

 

Ian Cowan

 

The Committee reports to the Parliament as follows-

Introduction

Background

1. The Committee held a work planning seminar in New Lanark in September 2001 at which a consensus emerged that it would be desirable to conduct an Inquiry into the purposes of education in Scotland. While some Inquiries had been undertaken into particular situations or problems which had arisen, these had primarily been determined by events and had not given the Committee an opportunity to inquire into the question "what is education for?", a question which in the Committee's opinion had also not been adequately asked or answered in recent times in Scotland.

2. The Committee agreed that this question needed to be addressed, in order to consider and make decisions on how best education could be delivered. The Committee were keen to conduct a wide-ranging consultation, to give as many individuals and organisations as possible an opportunity to let the Committee know their views and to investigate the wide range of visions that existed with regard to education, what it should seek to achieve and how it might be achieved.

3. The Committee appointed four advisers to produce a discussion paper which would form the basis of the consultation and to summarise the evidence submitted. The four advisers appointed were: Keir Bloomer, Chief Executive, Clackmannanshire Council, Sally Brown, Professor of Education (Emeritus), University of Stirling, Malcolm MacKenzie, Senior Lecturer in Education, University of Glasgow and Lindsay Paterson, Professor of Educational Policy, University of Edinburgh. The Committee would like to express its thanks to the advisers for the work they have done and for their stimulating interaction with the Committee . The discussion paper as finally issued focussed on six key themes:

·Change and Uncertainty

·Engaging with Ideas

·Keeping Everyone Involved

·Identity

·Skills

·Structure

These themes allowed the consultation to proceed in an ordered fashion while encouraging those who considered the paper to build a practical vision for the future.

4. The Committee discussed the Inquiry at numerous meetings and extracts from the Committee's minutes are attached as Annex A.

5. This report of the inquiry is organised to allow readers to follow the arguments and evidence given to the Committee and to draw conclusions from it. It first indicates the process of consultation, then the points of consensus that emerge. This is followed by indications of issues that respondents generally agreed required attention. After analysing in some detail the responses to the particular issues raised in the discussion paper, the Committee suggests both the overall objective for educational reform and the principles which underlie that objective. The Committee finally suggests ten particular objectives for development of the education system and in conclusion outline a template for judging if these objectives are being met.

Consultation

6. The four experts, working with the Committee drew up the discussion paper which formed the basis of the Committee's consultation and which is attached as Annex B. This paper was published on the Committee's web page and was also sent to approximately 230 individuals and organisations. The written submissions received are attached as Annexes C and D. In addition, the Committee set up a bulletin board on the Parliament's website to engender a debate, based on the discussion paper.

7. The Committee also commissioned the Scottish Council for Research in Education (now called the SCRE Centre) to establish ten focus groups and to facilitate a discussion on the future of education and to access groups and individuals who might otherwise not be heard and who would not normally respond to Committee calls for evidence. The report produced by SCRE is attached as Annex E. In addition the Committee has had access to the responses received during the Scottish Executive's "National Debate" although the two processes have been separate and were also envisaged as being so. The Committee understands that the "National Debate" was designed to inform particular policy planning by the Executive whereas its own consultation is intended to seek a wider view and to reflect more deeply on what the principles underlying education are and should be in 21st century Scotland.

8. The Committee took oral evidence at its meetings on 11 June 2002, 18 June 2002 and 25 June 2002. On 11 June 2002, the Committee took oral evidence from: the Educational Institute of Scotland which was represented by George McBride; the Association of University Teachers which was represented by Angela Roger; the Scottish Secondary Teachers Association which was represented by David Eaglesham; the Headteachers Association of Scotland which was represented by Mike Doig; the Scottish Parent Teacher Council which was represented by Judith Gillespie and Eleanor Coner; the Scottish School Board Association which was represented by Ann Hill and John Tierney and the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland which was represented by Gordon Jeyes and Shelagh Rae.

9. On 18 June 2002, the Committee took evidence from: Alva Academy which was represented by Vicky Banks, Lauren Grant, Nikita Scott and Lyndsey Sneddon; schools from the Stirling Council area represented by Sam Cameron (McLaren High School), Clare Chalmers (Dunblane High School), Oliver Berrill and Paul McDuff (St Modan's High School), Ian Muirhead (Balfron High School) and Catriona Weatherston (Stirling High School); Professor Michael Peters (University of Glasgow); Professor Joe Farrell (Strathclyde University); Learning and Teaching Scotland which was represented by Dr Mike Baughan, Dr Denis Stewart and Professor Thomas Wilson; and from Universities Scotland Scottish Teachers Education Committee which was represented by David Caldwell and Iain Smith.

10. On 25 June 2002, the Committee took evidence from: the Scottish Council Foundation which was represented by Graham Leicester and Tristan Leicester; CBI Scotland which was represented by Matthew Farrow; Association of Churches Together in Scotland Education Group which was represented by Andrew Brookes, John Deighan, Jack Laidlaw and Colin Brown; and from the Scottish Interfaith Council which was represented by Serwan Bhoghai, Alex Reid and Chris Foxon.

11. The oral evidence is attached as Annex C, together with the written evidence received.

Summary of evidence

Points of consensus

12. Respondents indicated that the issues raised in the original Discussion Paper were seen as relevant and appropriate by those who engaged with that document. Although the participants in the SCRE focus groups did not find the framework as relevant as a way of thinking about education, their comments did implicitly and explicitly take up the issues which the Discussion Paper raised. From all the evidence there emerged clear areas of consensus which indicated what education should be in Scotland and where it was succeeding and failing.

13. There was widespread support for a broad view of educational purposes including the promotion of positive values and active citizenship. There was wide agreement that a merely utilitarian education is insufficient.

14. It was agreed that Scotland's non-selective system of schooling - usually referred to in the submissions as 'comprehensive education' - has been successful in raising aspirations and levels of achievement. However, the exact nature of how such education is delivered needs to be kept under review.

15. Nevertheless, there is a need for change, perhaps of a radical nature, because a rapidly changing world is developing needs which the present system does not meet.

16. The inquiry found that currently there appears to be an overemphasis on an academic, subject-centred curriculum, with too much stress placed on memorisation of factual content, assessment and examination of individual pupils, and audit of and setting of targets for the system as a whole.

17. By contrast, to complement the need for strong emphasis on the basic skills of literacy and numeracy, much more attention should be given to various higher order capacities such as thinking skills and citizenship skills.

18. Education should seek a balance between cohesion and diversity, but the general view was that promoting social cohesion should be seen as the more important priority..

19. There was no support for specialist models as seen in other parts of the UK (though this is not to be taken as a reflection on special educational needs schools or the specialist schools in limited areas of the curriculum which are already established in Scotland). There was, however, support for more curricular choice within a broadly common framework.

20. It was seen as essential that students should learn to manage their own learning which requires that they develop their self-respect and become secure in their own identity.

21. The existing arrangements were seen as working most satisfactorily in the pre-school years and in the earlier stages of primary schooling and least well in the secondary sector, especially its first two years.

22. There was strong support for young people being actively involved in decision-making within the school.

23. There was a near unanimous view that schooling should be a satisfying experience in itself and not merely a preparation for later life.

24. Finally it was taken as read that schooling is only part of a lifelong process of education.

Issues needing attention

25. Other issues were identified as being key areas where attention and action was needed. There is a need to reconcile the often-expressed desire for a period of stability within the Scottish education system with the even more widespread perception of a need for change. Perhaps a clear and well thought-out sense of direction which is consistently pursued would provide the necessary level of stability?

26. Most of the points in the consensus have been advocated in the past by educationalists and others. However, despite the widespread feeling that the system is overburdened by innovation, it is widely believed that fundamental change of the type that would make progress on those issues covered by consensus does not appear to be taking place. It is right to ask what the major inhibitors of change are, and how they can be overcome.

27. If it is accepted that learning should be a lifelong process, what are the implications for the initial (and compulsory) period of schooling? Presumably, the need to pack in everything which may be of later value is much reduced. On the other hand, developing the prerequisites for later learning, both in terms of knowledge and skills and in relation to attitudes towards further learning, may be even more important.

28. There is a relationship between knowledge, understanding, critical thinking and skills which does not appear to be sufficiently acknowledged in many of the responses. If increased emphasis is to be placed on 'what young people can do', what are the implications for the way in which the curriculum would have to be organised? Should schools develop all kinds of skill equally, or is it their particular responsibility to encourage intellectual skills?

29. From the consensus emerged a number of key areas where attention and action is needed. If young people are expected to take responsibility for their own learning, schools will have to be more flexible about what is learnt and what is to count as knowledge than our current prescriptive approach to the curriculum permits. Can society live with that?

30. Although there was widespread support for education in critical citizenship, there was a general assumption that this would inevitably lead to young people acquiring a certain set of civic virtues - for example, becoming enthusiastic about the value of community, action against racism and sexism, environmental sustainability, global awareness, etc. This may suggest that the promotion of critical citizenship is closely aligned by those who promote it with the advocacy of particular values. There was little recognition that, through encouraging students to dissent from authority, citizenship education might result in some students adopting opinions that were contrary to the values of those who advocate citizenship education.

31. There is a need to set in place a means of providing an overview of policy and policy implementation for all sectors of education, in particular to ensure continuity between school and post-school learning.

From debate to practice

32. The issues of consensus and concern need to be brought together to start to generate a medium term agenda for practical change. However the responses offered very little of this kind of thinking despite the Discussion Paper suggesting that a "practical vision" was required. .It is, nonetheless, essential that such a "practical vision" be developed and that it be implemented and monitored The Committee believes that their conclusions regarding the evidence might provide the foundations for a set of criteria against which actual educational policy could be evaluated over the next decade. The Committee indicates at the end of this report what foundations it believes are important and suggests how they might be applied and scrutinised in implementation..

33. The Committee is also mindful of the fact that a massive amount of evidence has now been gathered over the past year in the various forward-looking inquiries not only by this Committee but by the Enterprise and Lifelong Learning Committee, the Executive and SCRE. Short summaries such as the present one inevitably cannot do justice to the richness and complexity of the ideas that have been put forward, and it might be of use to the future debate if a more thorough and detailed account were written, bringing together all these different sources. The Committee commends such an approach to its successor.

Analysis

General

34. Nearly all the submissions welcomed the inquiry, and many linked that to a belief that questions of philosophy and of purpose need to be addressed and yet have been ignored in debate about Scottish educational policy for several decades. It was also suggested that being able to hold this debate is a sign of strength - a sense that, because Scottish education has achieved a great deal, it has the self-confidence to be self-critical. People seem to have taken part enthusiastically, including in the SCRE focus groups with people who were very disaffected, and to have regarded the topic as worthy of serious and sustained attention. Several commented that this debate - and the National Debate - are unprecedented in their openness.

35. The analysis is based on four sets of sources:

·written submissions to the Committee's consultation - from 50 organisations (many of which were based on prior consultation, conferences, etc), from 24 individuals, and from a further 24 individuals who contributed to the on-line debate;

·evidence taken at the three oral sessions;

·the commissioned SCRE report;

·38 written submissions to the National Debate, being a sample of those which came from school boards, groups of teachers, parents, or pupils, or community organisations (categories that were not strongly present in the submissions to the Committee).

36. Most submissions used the structure of the Discussion Paper to organise their comments, and several commented that the paper was a useful stimulus to thought. Nevertheless, this may not be surprising since most of the submissions came from those who are centrally involved in the education system; it was noticeable that the participants in the SCRE research did not find the framework so helpful, although they did address the issues which it sought to raise. We use the paper's framework to organise comments on the submissions, but it should be borne in mind that not everyone would accept its relevance.

37. Other general comments included:

·Discussing education and taking that discussion to policy conclusions requires that we have a clear vision of what kind of society we want Scotland to be, and how it relates to the rest of Britain, Europe and the world.

·It is not possible to understand how schools should evolve without paying attention to universities, colleges, and community education as well.

·Education is likely to have not just one purpose, but a variety of purposes, especially in a multicultural society that is deeply affected by globalising influences.

·Reform has to be gradual if it is to be lasting and worthwhile, although that does not mean it has to be slow: what is felt to be 'gradual' will depend on how well particular proposals fit with existing practice, and how open people are to change.

·There needs to be an infrastructure of research and debate that would continuously subject policy to critical scrutiny: the debate should not stop with the publication of the Committee's response to the present exercise.

Theme 1: Change and Uncertainty

38. It was widely agreed that change is the over-arching Theme. Nevertheless, this was not so evident to the people in the SCRE research, and only young people seemed to recognise that change induces profound uncertainty. There was general agreement, however, that the best way of learning to deal with change is by becoming creative at solving problems. Education can thus equip people to take charge of change, rather than be its victims. There was no agreement on whether dealing with change requires a shared philosophy, or whether change is now so perpetual and unsettling that encouraging philosophical pluralism would be more educationally sound. There was agreement that people who had self-respect and self confidence are better able to deal with change than those who do not.

39. Becoming creative requires that attention be given to multiple kinds of intelligence - for example, emotional intelligence, and the capacity to relate to other people - and that education should be for understanding not simply for rote learning. There also has to be continual rethinking of the meaning of (for example) 'skill' and 'knowledge'. Only in these ways could schools truly educate the whole person. There should be more opportunities to experiment, in at least three senses: schools doing a variety of things, students deviating to some extent from the prescribed curriculum (although there was no support for specialist schools as they exist south of the border: see Theme 6), and teachers recurrently revising their conceptions and techniques. An education which respects and promotes children's rights would be open to such experimentation. The new economy, with its perpetually changing requirements, would also benefit from this kind of education.

Theme 2: Engaging with Ideas

40. Developing worthwhile knowledge and students' intellects was regarded as important, and by implication in many submissions as of greater importance than other kinds of intelligence noted under Theme 1. There was the occasional comment that there might have been a decline in the capacity of students to think abstractly or in an integrated way, but the general consensus was that more students are able to do this now than in the past. There was only occasional support for education as a good in itself, but also general agreement that a merely utilitarian education is not enough. Thus the most common position was an endorsement of the core objectives of liberal education - engaging in critical thinking, sharing in a common culture, learning about effective contributions to the community (including economic contributions), and taking responsibility for one's self. This would also be an effective preparation for lifelong learning.

41. There was little comment on critical thinking as an intrinsically educational activity, in the sense of having no immediate outcome but the expansion of the student's understanding: critical thinking was frequently linked explicitly to citizenship. There was a general sense in the SCRE research that educated people are worthy of respect, and that education is a source of decency in the face of destructive consumerism and an obsession with short-term gratification. In that sense, those who are alienated from education tended to believe that student rights have gone too far and that a proper respect for teachers is the only way to engage in worthwhile learning. By contrast, educational professionals and pressure groups tended to argue that the educational experience could be made satisfactory in itself- not only as a preparation for something else - and that this could be achieved by its becoming more learner-centred.

42. There was agreement that education should not produce docile citizens, but there was a general assumption that, by encouraging young people to think about society, they would come to think about it in ways that most adults would regard as responsible. There was some agreement as to what a modern sense of social responsibility should amount to - for example, being enthusiastic about the value of community, being willing to take action against racism, sexism and other social evils, and being committed to environmental sustainability and global awareness. But there was also disagreement: for example, there was no agreement on the role of religion in schools. It was optimistically assumed by most submissions that becoming educated would itself induce people to think in broadly similar, liberal ways. The scope for radical opposition to these values was not discussed, and there was little recognition of the role of educators in encouraging dissent.

43. The kinds of educational activity that would be conducive to citizenship include developing an intellectual understanding of society and its equipment of institutions, acquiring the skills of advocacy and debate, and learning how to manage and interpret information. While at school, students should be involved in developing school policy so that they can experience these civic roles. There was some concern, though, that schools might actually be too comfortable an environment to give a proper experience of the real difficulties of exercising citizenship.

Theme 3: Keeping Everyone Involved

44. There was no dissent from the importance of inclusion in its widest sense, both on the grounds of equal opportunities and because only this could ensure that everyone's talents were made fully available to the community. There was general agreement - including from the people in the SCRE research - that Scottish education has become more inclusive in the last couple of decades, but that a great deal more needs to be achieved. The notion of social inclusion as an active policy (rather than just the removal of educationally irrelevant barriers) was widely endorsed. New Community Schools, in particular, were mentioned by several submissions as perhaps the most important aspect of current policy in this respect, especially insofar as they encourage education to work with other agencies such as in social work and health. It was felt also that further education colleges tend to be more effective at including a diversity of people than schools, and that schools might have a great deal to learn by working more closely with colleges. It could be, however, that there are, in practice, limits to the success of schools in becoming inclusive in all their activities, because some of these activities might never suit all students.

45. Some submissions noted a potential tension between inclusion and the current styles of learning and examination. For example, some of the people in the SCRE research believed that a sense of academic failure could contribute to people becoming disaffected, and therefore to dropping out of education. Several submissions felt that preparation for examinations had negative effects even in the earlier years of secondary education. Even universities and employers had reservations about the current intensity of the examination system in schools.

46. Many submissions believed that promoting inclusion was not consistent with the attention currently given to league tables of examination results, which tend to concentrate schools' and public attention on too narrow a range of outcomes. Widening access would also have implications for higher education: for example, there was a feeling that there should be much greater recognition than at present that extra resources are required to support students who would not traditionally have entered a university. Newer styles of learning are not necessarily contributing to social inclusion: for example, several respondents warned of the 'digital divide', and pointed out that opportunities for lifelong learning tend to be taken more often by those who have done well during initial education than by those who have dropped out.

47. It was also noted that, even for children of school age, education takes place in many settings other than schools, and so that education policy should pay attention to these (for example, families, youth clubs, the internet, computer games, etc). A few submissions commented that Scottish education does not do enough to recognise and celebrate moderate talent, which for all students is the most that they can develop in most of their activities, even though they might excel at a few things.

Theme 4: Identity

48. All submissions accepted the importance of identity, usually on the grounds that only people who are secure in their own identity can be effective learners and can properly respect the identity of others and be constructive and active citizens. Conversely, the most effective way of teaching this sense of self-worth is by encouraging students to develop a broad cultural awareness, including an awareness of the cultural variety of Scotland itself.

49. There was wide agreement that Scottish education should seek a balance between cohesion and diversity, or responsibilities and rights, but the general sense was that cohesion and responsibility are the most important goals. Although there was the occasional doubt about the socialising role of schools, the general consensus was that this is a very important part of formal education, and indeed that this is the crucial way in which the purposes of education could be linked to the vision Scotland has of itself as a society - the values it wants its citizens to hold, and the institutions through which these values should be expressed. The respondents in the SCRE research were emphatic that schools have to socialise young people into respectable values.

50. There was general agreement that Scotland is multicultural. Some believed that this is a contrast with traditional Scottish culture, and warned that too much attention to Scottish identity could be narrowing, while others believed that having an international dimension in its culture is one of Scotland's traditional strengths. Most agreed, however, that education has a role in sustaining and developing the newer aspects of Scottish identities (such as Asian culture) as well as the older ones (such as Gaelic and Scots). When submissions asserted the value of community, that was usually seen as being a series of nested layers, and the local, the Scottish and the global were the most frequently mentioned. Some submissions argued that only in this way could Scots be brought to see people in other parts of the world as their equals: globalisation ought not to be about potentially patronising concern with poor countries, but should be about a global network of communities that could learn from each other.

51. As in other Themes, there was comment on the role of agencies other than schools. Parents were widely seen as the most important link between schools and communities, even though there was no support for parents as school managers. Parents should share the task of instilling a sense of social responsibility in the young. There were only a very few comments that elected education authorities might similarly be a means by which links with communities could be sustained.

Theme 5: Skills

52. No submission doubted the importance of the basic skills of literacy and numeracy, with language being seen as fundamental to all other kinds of learning. There was also agreement that effective teachers need good subject knowledge as well as pedagogical skills.

53. Only a very few submissions claimed that the basic skills are declining, More asserted that change is not the same as decline: for example, it was pointed out that the growth of attention to information technology in schools - which many submissions welcomed - means inevitably that less attention is given to some activities that would have been common in the past. It was also noted that it is important to compare like with like: for example, it might not be appropriate to have the same expectations of higher-education entrants when one half of the age group is entering than when (as in the 1960s) the proportion was one in ten.

54. Nevertheless, there was an equally firm belief that whilst students must be well equipped with the basic skills, they should also learn a lot more than these skills, through the creative, moral and aesthetic aspects of education. There was some concern that using the word 'skills' to refer to these capacities might tend to lose some of the depth that their worthwhile development required. Students should learn thinking skills, which are more transferable than unorganised facts, and these can be best acquired in the processes of learning other things, rather than as a specific subject of study. For this reason too (as well as for those noted under Theme 3 above), less attention needs to be given to league tables in assessing the quality of schools, and more to the quality of the interactions between students and teachers, and to the quality of the educational and social vision which headteachers and other educational leaders can exercise and can bring to bear on educational change itself.

55. There was disagreement on whether these higher-order capacities can be best developed through the study of discrete subjects, supplemented by inter-disciplinary projects, or whether they require that traditional subject boundaries be broken down radically.

56. There was little support for teaching vocational skills in school, in the sense of skills specifically designed for particular jobs. Employers and others argued that the skills required for a lifetime of changing employment were similar to the skills required for being an effective citizen - for example, adaptability, creativity, and the capacity to relate constructively to other people. Although respondents in the SCRE research wanted schools to teach 'life skills' (such as for home management), they, too, tended to believe that specific vocational skills are best learnt in the workplace.

Theme 6: Structure

57. The basic framework of Scottish school education was widely endorsed - the community-based school (whether primary or secondary), operating a non-selective intake, and through which children progress in line with their age. Submissions regarded this kind of structure as a more effective foundation for life, for lifelong learning, and for choosing careers than any of the other policy options that are currently being canvassed - for example, the introduction of selective schools, the development of specialist schools on a model currently being pursued south of the Border, or a major expansion of faith based schools that would be much more autonomous than is currently the case in Scotland. Nevertheless, there was widespread support for more curricular choice within a broadly common framework. There was also a feeling that the valuable aspects of breadth should go far beyond merely teaching a fairly large number of discrete subjects: students should acquire not only breadth of knowledge, but also breadth of skills, breadth of understanding of human beings, and the capacity to bring the elements of a broad education holistically together.

58. There was also a general acceptance among educational professionals involved in the consultation that the only effective style of teaching was student-centred - especially if it is to encourage the kinds of independent learners mentioned under Theme 1 above. Nevertheless, the meaning of 'student centred' and similar concepts was not usually defined by respondents, and may in fact have meant different things in different submissions: for example, an attention to the process of education rather than to outcomes directly, or the fostering of multiple intelligences, or an awareness of children's rights, or simply ensuring that the potential of all children is realised. These interpretations are not necessarily incompatible, but they emphasise different things. Moreover, in the SCRE research, child centredness meant in part that consumerism in education had gone too far. Only a very small minority of submissions believed that schooling as such is damaging to some (or all) children.

59. On the other hand, there were many criticisms of some aspects of current schools as not yet fulfilling the comprehensive ideals that were believed to underpin them. There was a feeling that schools are not yet inclusive enough - that the comprehensive principles need to go further (for example, as noted under Theme 3 above). There was a very widespread belief that secondary schools are too driven by examination performance. There was a frequent assertion that there is too much attention to something which many submissions called 'the academic curriculum', although - as with 'student centred' - the meaning of this was rarely clarified. When questioned on the definition at oral sessions, witnesses distinguished between worthwhile academic knowledge that ought to be at the heart of education, and arid learning for the sake of passing exams. The one negative aspect of an academic curriculum that was frequently mentioned was a subject-based structure. There was a feeling that schools should work more with other professionals (as noted in Theme 3 above), and should develop better links with parents and the community. Some submissions felt that education is becoming too narrowly vocational.

60. It was felt by some submissions that, despite the value of breadth, the current 5-14 curriculum is too crowded and that primaries and - especially - secondaries need to become more flexible. There were many suggestions that the transition from primary to secondary requires new thinking, although some submissions questioned whether this was as serious a problem as is often claimed; indeed, the respondents in the SCRE research felt that this transition is now much smoother than it was in the past. There were also suggestions that the transition to further and higher education could be more effective.

Recommendations

Objectives for educational reform

61. Following on from the above, the Committee recommends a set of objectives that ought to guide educational policy over the next two decades, and a template for assessing any particular proposal for reform that might be made. These have been derived from analysis of the submissions to the inquiry and thus are based on the consensus in the submissions on the reforms which should take place. The objectives are prefaced with the Committee's views on the principles which should guide reform, also distilled from the submissions to the inquiry.

The principles

62. There ought always to be a broad view of the purposes of education: singling out any one purpose as the main aim of education is never adequate.

63. Scotland's schooling - at all stages - should continue to be based on the comprehensive principle. There should be no selection upon entry to secondary school, and there should be a presumption (but not a requirement) in favour of schooling in the local community.

64. There is a need for fundamental change in what happens inside schools, because in a rapidly changing world education must change to meet new needs.

65. There needs to be a move away from the current overemphasis on an academic, subject-centred curriculum, memorising of factual content, assessment, and examination.

66. There must also be a reduction in the external auditing of schools and the external setting of targets for schools and for the system as a whole. This would allow schools much greater flexibility than at present in how they respond to the needs of individual students and their communities. Schools would be required to publish information about themselves for the use of parents and the wider community.

67. As part of offering a more individual service, schools might choose to develop particular strengths, provided always that all students have access to a broad curriculum and that access to that curriculum is available on the same basis for everyone.

68. Much more attention should be given than at present to developing higher order capacities, such as thinking skills and the skills of citizenship.

69. Education should seek a balance between cohesion and diversity, but in that balance, most Scots would wish to see cohesion as being the more important element in the partnership.

70. Students should learn to manage their own learning, which requires that they develop their self-respect and become secure in their own identity.

71. Students should be more actively involved in decision-making within the school.

72. Schooling should be a satisfactory experience in itself, and not just a preparation for later life.

73. Schooling should lay the basis for a lifelong process of education.

The objectives

74. The Committee sets out ten objectives for development over the next two decades. Under each of them, we note briefly the aspects of the consensus in the debate on the purposes of education to which each objective relates. The Committee believes that all ten of these areas require action, and that proceeding on merely a selection from them would not be conducive to worthwhile educational advance.

Objective One: To ensure that the curriculum as a whole reflects in a balanced way the full set of educational objectives emerging from the debate.

Issues which this would seek to address: Curriculum overload, space for new priorities such as citizenship, values and healthy living, making available a broader range of formative experiences, reducing the focus on purely academic study.

Objective Two: To develop alternative approaches to the organisation of the curriculum which are likely to prove more effective in promoting motivation and authentic learning.

Issues which this would seek to address: Subject domination, learning processes, knowledge versus skills, the sequencing of learning experiences.

Objective Three: To encourage the development of a wide range of skills, competences and personal qualities.

Issues which this would seek to address: Values, citizenship, problem solving, higher-order intellectual skills, skills for later learning.

Objective Four: To establish education as a continuous process throughout life.

Issues which this would seek to address: Reconsidering problem areas such as the first two years of secondary, promoting better links between sectors of education in policy formulation and in Government, local authority and school and college practice, easing points of transition, developing partnerships.

Objective Five: To reduce the influence of assessment, testing and examinations.

Issues which this would seek to address: Valuing and recognising a wider range of achievement, alternative approaches to examination and assessment, assessment better suited to the wider needs of employers, higher education and other users, indicators of performance as determined by schools themselves.

Objective Six: To reduce the extent of direct central prescription in the curriculum and the influence of audit and inspection.

Issues which this would seek to address: The excessive volume of guidelines, inspection, specific grant funding mechanisms, performance indicators.

Objective Seven: To improve planning and policy making processes.

Issues which this would seek to address: Involving teachers in planning, including such involvement as part of normal professional development, providing reassurance to them that change can be achieved without imposing unacceptable stress and disruption, ensuring a consistent sense of direction, gradualism versus more radical change, promoting professional autonomy, leadership and critical thinking, including the wider community in school development planning.

Objective Eight: To develop a more individualised service, within a framework of broad entitlements to broadly the same kind of education for all.

Issues which this would seek to address: Greater flexibility, alternatives to age and stage progression (so that not all children need to move through the levels of the curriculum at the same pace), replacing 'one size fits all' approaches by a curriculum that is tailored to the individual child, moving away from the rigid grouping of children into teaching groups that are bureaucratically convenient but ignore their individual needs.

Objective Nine: To give young people a say.

Issues which this would seek to address: Ensuring education is a worthwhile experience at the time, participation in decision-making as a preparation for citizenship, heeding young people's views in shaping the service.

Objective Ten: To develop a new infrastructure suited to 21st century purposes.

Issues which this would seek to address: Design of schools, the school environment, the place of technology.

The Template

75. The Committee recommends that any proposed development - at whatever level, whether school, local authority or national - should be regarded as positive and acceptable only if it is judged likely to contribute to:

·promoting positive values, active citizenship and increased awareness of community and culture;

·having a positive impact on social exclusion and reduce alienation;

·promoting young people's self-esteem, social development and sense of identity;

·promoting creativity and higher-order intellectual skills, and encourage emotional as well as cognitive development;

·helping young people to deal with change and uncertainty and promote their capacity for constructive dissent;

·encouraging parents to realise their role in supporting the education of their children, thus encouraging links between schools and their communities;

·encouraging positive attitudes to further learning and assist the transition to later opportunities;

·enabling young people to play an active role in decisions which affect them and take ownership of their own further learning;

·encouraging flexibility and diversity and open up possibilities for further innovation and development, without detracting from common entitlements and social inclusion;

·encouraging the valuing of all kinds of achievement;

·helping teachers to develop professionally and increase their self-confidence and autonomy.

76. The Committee notes that the enduring nature of these principles, objectives and criteria is shown by a key quotation, from the report on secondary education made by the Advisory Council on Education in Scotland in 1947. Asking the question with which we are still concerned today - what type of education can best fit people to live as citizens in a democracy? - the Council proposed to judge any reform according to two broad criteria:

How does this stand related to the reality of adolescent life, with its immediate needs, instinctive tendencies and inescapable limitations? Is this ultimately significant for all boys and girls as human beings in a free and well ordered community?

With suitable extension to all schooling, and amendment to recognise the radically changed nature of the world in which we live, these questions can still stand as the most fundamental which policy makers face.

Conclusion

The Committee commends this report to the Scottish Executive, to local authorities, to schools, to teachers, to parents and pupils - and to the wider society of Scotland. This report is intended not to address narrow issues but to expand horizons and to create opportunities for constructive thinking. The Committee recommends that the template set out in paragraph 75, which is underpinned by the ten objectives outlined in paragraph 74, be used to evaluate any future educational policies and initiatives, first of all by the Committee itself in future Parliaments as well as by the wider constituencies indicated.

ANNEX A - DISCUSSION PAPER

Education, Culture and Sport Committee

Inquiry into the Purposes of Scottish Education

Discussion Paper

CONTENTS

Introduction

Theme 1: Coping with Change and Uncertainty

Theme 2: Engaging with Ideas

Theme 3: Keeping Everyone Involved with Learning

Theme 4: Promoting a Sense of Identity

Theme 5: Developing Necessary Skills

Theme 6: Fitting Structure to Purpose

Introduction

The Education, Culture and Sport Committee of the Scottish Parliament is encouraging a debate about the purposes of Scottish education. The Scottish Executive is encouraging a parallel debate. The Executive is responsible for education policy and will be encouraging people to discuss a wide range of issues which are important to a long-term strategy for education. The Committee wants to build on that by provoking debate in more depth on key issues about the future of education. The Committee wants to develop its practical vision for Scottish education, to inform its scrutiny of all education issues in future and to bring into the public domain the wide range of positive thinking about education that exists in Scotland. The Committee and the Executive will be working in parallel to stimulate debate on education in all groups with an interest, locally and nationally.

This paper is intended to provoke discussion and comment. It outlines six themes which are important in debates about what education is for, not just in Scotland but in many other places. Under each theme, there is a key question, a short description of the context of that question, and a list of some current issues raised by the question. Comments are invited on these six questions, or on any other themes which people would like to raise with the Committee. The six themes are:

Theme 1: Coping with Change and Uncertainty

Theme 2: Engaging with Ideas

Theme 3: Keeping Everyone Involved with Learning

Theme 4: Promoting a Sense of Identity

Theme 5: Developing Necessary Skills

Theme 6: Fitting Structure to Purpose

Overall key question

Is there a need in a rapidly changing world for radical change in the education system?

Context

The context for this debate is the sense that the world is changing rapidly, and a belief that education has to prepare people for this while also going through profound change itself. Scottish education has many significant successes to its credit, and has made a great deal of progress in the last few decades. It has become more flexible and more inclusive while remaining true to its strongest traditions. These successes reflect the enormous amount of hard work put in by students, teachers and parents. But Scottish education, like all education systems at present, needs to change. Globalisation of the economy and of culture may make old ways of looking at the curriculum out of date. New understandings of how people learn raise questions about how teaching is organised. The ideas of children's rights and parents' rights pose serious challenges to how schools are organized and a growing emphasis on leadership is evident in the debate about management systems. There has been a new concern with quality measurement in the last two decades, which has made education more transparent, but has also led to a growth in the bureaucracy which surrounds schools and narrowed the focus of the curriculum towards those achievements that are most easily measured. At the same time, education is increasingly being seen as part of a broader strategy for helping people develop to their fullest potential. Supporting families in helping their children thrive and learn during their earliest years is part of that effort. The coming of the Scottish Parliament is raising important issues about how policy is made for education. These and many other topics require a wide public discussion before their implications for policy and practice can be decided.

Scottish education is able to think well about next steps but less well about developing a vision for the longer-term. The Committee hopes that the debate which it is encouraging will be about the 'middle distance'. The intention is not to ask for comments on immediate issues of current concern: the aim is to think in a more visionary way. This is not to say that the debate should be about abstract matters; it should feed into real policy development over the next decade.

In summary, the debate is about developing a practical vision for Scottish education.

Theme 1: Coping with Change and Uncertainty

Key question

How can the education system help children and young people to cope with high levels of uncertainty and the rapid pace of change?

Context

Many important ideas on educational purpose have been largely constant over centuries but need to be reinterpreted from time to time and place to place in the light of circumstances. Continuous rapid change is the defining circumstance of the moment. Its speed, profound impact and global application are critical factors. Enabling people to cope with such change must be a major purpose of the education system. Coping with continuous change requires new learning strategies.

Some current issues

·People must be able to deal with problems which do not have definite answers and live with diversity without becoming unsettled. Coping with change is as much a cultural and psychological phenomenon as a matter of acquiring new skills to meet the needs of changing circumstances at work and in other aspects of life. How can education ensure that people have the cultural and personal resources to deal with change?

·Change affects education itself. It could be argued that education has not yet been much affected by the knowledge age, and yet is expected to prepare its students for living with change and uncertainty. For example, although ICT has had some impact, education has not been transformed by it in the same way as, say, banking and financial services. Should and can education undergo large scale change, whether in response to ICT or for other reasons?

·There are possibilities for new means of funding, managing and governing education. What should the roles of parents, teachers and the local community be in governing schools? How should their roles relate to the role of the elected local authority and to the national level?

·Education is itself a force for change in society. So the debate has to be as much about the kind of society we want as the changes we would like to see in education. What are the goals which Scottish society is now setting for itself, and how should education help to achieve these goals? Are the current links among education, industry and commerce appropriate?

Theme 2: Engaging with Ideas

Key question

How far should education encourage children and young people to be capable of engaging with existing knowledge and developing innovative ideas as the basis for questioning authority and social conventions?

Context

Education is normally held to have a socialising role. This is most often stated in terms of promoting a strong, homogeneous society. It has also frequently been given an economic dimension: education is seen as critical to national prosperity in the knowledge age.

But education is also about promoting citizenship. This has to do with sustaining democratic society, and involves both challenge and dissent. It is essentially about promoting a critical dialogue between the individual good citizen and a listening society.

Some current issues

·The individual can contribute only on the basis of well-informed thoughts. Therefore education has to engage with ideas and values and has to develop intellectual capacity. Does Scottish education do this adequately? Are these objectives consistent with the current emphasis on assessment?

·Developing well-informed thinking requires depth of study as well as breadth. How can both of these be achieved?

·Should education be seen as an end in itself? Another way of putting this is to ask whether living the life of an educated person could be itself a key purpose in life.

·These views could challenge traditional institutions. Can and should our schools be more "democratic"? What are the implications for school management and curriculum?

·Equally, however, the idea of education for citizenship challenges extreme child-centredness because it links the right to be heard to the possession of appropriate knowledge, understandings and personal qualities. In other words, this view tends to portray the period of initial education as a kind of apprenticeship to society. Is this an appropriate view of the role of education?

Theme 3: Keeping Everyone Involved with Learning

Key question

Is what we are currently doing in schools an adequate proxy for what we think education ought to do?

Context

Many individuals and groups feel alienated from society, including from the democratic process itself. Large minorities of young people are alienated specifically from learning and education and children from poor families and deprived communities continue to face greater obstacles to educational success. Such obstacles and alienation exist alongside the successes of Scottish education: while a majority now makes significant progress through education, the minority which does not make that progress feels increasingly isolated. Even for the successful students, an unstimulating curriculum, the pressure of competition and the need to concentrate on gaining qualifications that may lead to worthwhile employment can leave little time for less structured or less academic types of learning or, indeed, for those intellectual pursuits that are not formally assessed.

Some current issues

·Despite some attempts to match resources to needs, poverty and disadvantage remain strongly correlated with educational failure. Is this a problem that education can tackle on its own? What other measures should society take to try and ensure comparability of outcome for young people from all backgrounds?

·Scotland shares a common problem that some adolescent males are deeply alienated from school. This has sometimes been called the culture of 'laddism'. How can this be challenged?

·Despite the great advances which female students have made in Scottish education in recent decades, a minority of young women is still not well served by existing provision. How can the disadvantages that continue to be faced by some women be overcome?

·Some of this alienation underpins the pervasive drug culture. How can the promotion of well-being - including health - be incorporated into formal education?

·The full variety of Scotland's multicultural society is not yet being addressed, and thus many schools alienate young people who are not part of the majority cultures. The extreme form of this is racism, which Scottish education is only now beginning to address fully in practice. How can education help Scotland to appreciate and live with diversity?

·The reasons for these many different kinds of alienation perhaps lie in a failure of attitudes to keep pace with social change (which is obviously an instance of failure to cope with change in general) and - in the case of adolescence - the failure of an ever-extending period of education to inspire and engage. How can education be made appealing to young people in worthwhile ways?

·Confidence and autonomy provide part of the motivation to learn, and are promoted best by a system which is responsive to individual needs. How can learners be encouraged to develop self-confidence and to exercise choice in a mature way?

Theme 4: Promoting a Sense of Identity

Key question

Is there something distinctive and special about the way that Scotland should respond to change?

Context

Acceptance of an identity is a beginning point for personal development, and so promoting a sense of identity is an important role for education. A strong sense of community identity is also essential to building cultural capital - the reservoir of knowledge and capacities which can be passed on between the generations. In a multi-cultural society, the notion of 'coherent variety', or managing diversity in a respectful and inclusive manner, is crucial. In Scottish terms, this involves regional, Scottish, British, European and global dimensions, but the exact balance among all of these is not easy to find.

Some current issues

·Culture is partly about shared heritage. What is that heritage? Does education have a responsibility for passing it on? How is the heritage changed by the inclusion of new cultures from outside Scotland, and by the adaptation of old Scottish cultures to a changing world?

·How should the education system relate to Scotland's British inheritance? Is Britishness weakening, is it taking on new forms, and what should the role of education be in any changes in the relationship between Scottish and British identities?

·This inclusion of new cultures might be done in a different way in each country, and so Scotland's form of multi-culturalism might be different from that elsewhere. What - if any - should these differences be?

·Culture is also about accommodating initiative. How can dissent and critical thinking be built into a shared heritage? What does education have to do to encourage the valuing of critical thinking throughout society?

·The global questions about educational purpose need to be expressed in contemporary and local terms. What difference does the Scottish context make? What are the key traditions in Scotland that allow us to respond to global change?

·On the other hand, how does contemporary Scotland need to change to support an appropriate education system? What Scottish traditions impede our responding adequately? Are some of these traditions difficult for us to give up?

Theme 5: Developing Necessary Skills

Key question

What skills are needed to make sense of large amounts of information, and to bring them together into a coherent response to change?

Context

Despite different views on the overall purposes of education, there is a large measure of consensus on necessary skills and the importance of establishing the highest of standards. What is often lacking is a coherent explanation of how these skills relate to educational purposes.

Some current issues

·Basic skills are usually seen as literacy, numeracy and ICT, but some consideration of the nature of these skills is necessary. Do the demands of new technology require advanced information handling and critical thinking skills as much as practical technological skills? Are there other skills which should be recognized as being of comparable importance?

·Information handling is a necessary basis for critical thinking, but that does not mean that developing the skills of critical thinking can or should be postponed until after basic skills are acquired. Is there a risk that the current strong emphasis on the acquisition of basic literacy and numeracy skills may be demotivating, particularly for low achievers?

·Critical thinking requires a range of higher order skills. These include problem solving skills, communication skills and a range of inter-personal and cooperation skills. Some of these take the form of the full development of numeracy and literacy - for example, the ability to use language effectively to understand complex statistical ideas. Understanding and discussing statistics is an example of basic skills being inseparable from higher order skills. How can the higher order skills be developed without displacing the necessary attention to basic skills?

·The extent to which the higher order skills are genuinely transferable between contexts is open to debate. Learning has to be about something. How far should learning be about gaining factual knowledge? How far should it be about developing the skills needed to interpret that knowledge?

·In a changing world the skills of managing one's own further learning are obviously significant. How important is learning how to learn? How can these learning skills best be developed?

·There is always a risk that education is seen in terms that are too narrowly drawn. Is there a danger that in the pursuit of skills we pay insufficient attention to the artistic, emotional and imaginative aspects of individual development?

Theme 6: Fitting Structure to Purpose

Key question

Are schools the right places for all young people?

Context

Part of the process of change involves challenges to deeply ingrained assumptions within the education service. Education is still largely undertaken in the period before working life and it is undertaken in three largely separate age-segregated types of institution (primary, secondary, tertiary). It is also managed in ways that are founded, perhaps unconsciously, on so-called "principles" culled from outmoded, industrial models. There is a need to articulate our management thought more clearly, comparing it critically with cutting-edge thought and practice at an international level.

Some current issues

·In the Scottish context, challenging these assumptions involves a constructive reappraisal of the concept of the comprehensive school. What kind of reappraisal of the structure of comprehensive schooling should Scotland undertake?

·Can this reappraisal be undertaken while maintaining the principles of equity and social justice which underlie Scotland's strong and persistent support for comprehensive schooling?

·In structural terms, we are seeing in Scotland a blurring of the divide between secondary school and further education, encouraged by Higher Still. Is this desirable? What are its long-term implications? Should there be other kinds of provision for students at ages 16-18?

·There is also a questioning of the lack of continuity between primary and secondary, with particular attention to the dip in progress which pupils experience in the first couple of years of secondary. Problems at this stage of schooling have been identified in Scotland for many decades. What can be done to overcome them?

·In some parts of the UK, the development of specialist schools and an increase in the number of faith schools have been proposed as ways of tackling the perceived inadequacies of the comprehensive system. How should Scotland react to these ideas?

·More dramatically - and in the slightly longer term - structures may be revolutionised by the impact of on-line learning. Does this challenge the traditional concept of school?

·Are the purposes of education constant at all stages of education, or should they alter with the age of the learners? Does this suggest that education up to puberty needs to be age-segregated even if the subsequent structural boundaries might be outmoded?

·Should pre-school provision be seen as a preparation for primary in terms of social mixing and developing life skills rather than mainly a preparation for reading and number work?

Conclusion

This debate must not just be about what to do next. Scotland needs to look into the future and think about the kind of education system it will need ten, twenty or more years from now. What changes should we be making now to help us meet those future needs?

ANNEX B - EXTRACTS FROM MINUTES

EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

25th Meeting, 2001 (Session 1)

Tuesday 2 October 2001

Present:

Karen Gillon (Convener)

Mr Frank McAveety

Irene McGugan

Michael Russell

Ian Jenkins

Mr Brian Monteith

Cathy Peattie

The meeting opened at 2:35 pm and was adjourned at 2:36 pm

The meeting resumed at 2:38 pm

Civic Participation Funding Bids: The Committee agreed to seek the appointment of four advisers to assist in The Purpose of Education Inquiry, and to make a bid for external research to support the Purpose of Education Inquiry.

The meeting closed at 3.35 pm

EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

2nd Meeting, 2002

Tuesday 15 January 2002 (Session 1)

Present:

Karen Gillon (Convener) Mr Frank McAveety (Deputy Convener)

Jackie Baillie Ian Jenkins

Irene McGugan Mr Brian Monteith

Michael Russell

The meeting commenced at 2.02pm.

Purposes of Education Inquiry: The Committee agreed to submit bids for civic participation, research funding and extension of advisers' contracts.

The meeting closed at 4.50pm.

EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

5th Meeting, 2002 (Session 1)

Tuesday 5th February 2002

Present:

Karen Gillon (Convener) Mr Frank McAveety (Deputy Convener)

Jackie Baillie Ian Jenkins

Irene McGugan Mr Brian Monteith

Michael Russell

The meeting commenced at 2.06pm.

Purposes of Education Inquiry: The Committee considered a draft consultation paper. Various changes were agreed to.

The meeting closed at 3.52pm.

EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

7th Meeting, 2002 (Session 1)

Tuesday 26 February 2002

Present:

Karen Gillon (Convener) Mr Frank McAveety (Deputy Convener)

Jackie Baillie Ian Jenkins

Irene McGugan Mr Brian Monteith

Michael Russell

The meeting commenced at 2.02pm

Purposes of Education Inquiry: The Committee agreed to consider this item at a future meeting

The meeting closed at 5.07pm

EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

8th Meeting, 2002 (Session 1)

Tuesday 5 March 2002

Present:

Mr Frank McAveety (Deputy Convener) Jackie Baillie

Ian Jenkins Irene McGugan

Mr Brian Monteith Michael Russell

Apologies were received from Karen Gillon

The meeting commenced at 2.07 pm.

Items in private: The Committee agreed to take items 2, 3 and 4 in private.

The meeting continued in private at 2.08 pm.

Purposes of Education (in private): The Committee agreed an approach to the Inquiry and agreed a consultation paper.

The meeting closed at 3.22pm.

EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

13th Meeting, 2002 (Session 1)

Tuesday 30 April 2002

Present

 

Frank McAveety (Deputy Convener)

Jackie Baillie

Ian Jenkins

Irene McGugan

Mr Brian Monteith

Cathy Peattie (Committee substitute)

Michael Russell

 

The meeting opened at 2.06 pm.

Purposes of Education Inquiry: The Committee considered possible witnesses.

The meeting closed at 4.42 pm.

EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

18th Meeting, 2002 (Session 1)

Tuesday 11 June 2002

Present:

Cathy Peattie (Deputy Convener) Jackie Baillie

Ian Jenkins Irene McGugan

Mr Brian Monteith Michael Russell

Karen Whitefield (Committee Substitute)

The meeting opened at 2.05 pm.

Purposes of Education Inquiry: The Committee took evidence from-

George MacBride, Educational Institute of Scotland

Angela Roger, Association of University Teachers

David Eaglesham, Scottish Secondary Teachers Association

Mike Doig, Headteachers Association of Scotland

The meeting was suspended 3.20 pm and resumed at 3.28 pm.

The Committee took evidence from-

Judith Gillespie, Scottish Parent Teacher Council

Eleanor Coner, Scottish Parent Teacher Council

Ann Hill, Scottish School Boards Association

John Tierney, Scottish School Boards Association

The meeting was suspended at 4.08 pm and resumed at 4.11 pm.

The Committee took evidence from-

Gordon Jeyes, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland

Shelagh Rae, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland

The meeting closed at 4.51 pm.

EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

19th Meeting, 2002 (Session 1)

Tuesday 18 June 2002

Present:

Cathy Peattie (Deputy Convener) Jackie Baillie

Murdo Fraser (Committee Substitute) Ian Jenkins

Irene McGugan Michael Russell

Karen Whitefield (Committee Substitute)

Apologies were received from Brian Monteith

Also present: Keir Bloomer (Adviser), Sally Brown (Adviser), Malcolm McKenzie (Adviser), Lindsay Paterson (Adviser)

The meeting opened at 1.38 pm.

Purposes of Education Inquiry: The Committee took evidence from-

Pupils from Alva Academy:

Vicky Banks

Lauren Grant

Nikita Scott

Lyndsey Sneddon

Pupils from schools in the Stirling Council area:

Sam Cameron, McLaren High School

Claire Chalmers, Dunblane High School

Oliver Berrill, St Modan's High School

Paul McDuff, St Modan's High School

Ian Muirhead, Balfron High School

Catriona Weatherston, Stirling High School

The meeting was suspended at 2.36 pm and resumed at 2.44 pm.

The Committee took evidence from-

Professor Michael Peters, University of Glasgow

Professor Joe Farrell, Strathclyde University

The meeting was suspended at 3.41 pm and resumed at 3.44 pm.

The Committee took evidence from-

Dr Mike Baughan, Learning and Teaching Scotland

Dr Denis Stewart, Learning and Teaching Scotland

Professor Thomas Wilson, Learning and Teaching Scotland

The meeting was suspended at 4.40 pm and resumed at 4.42 pm.

The Committee took evidence from-

David Caldwell, Universities Scotland's Scottish Teacher Education Committee

Iain Smith, Universities Scotland's Scottish Teacher Education Committee

The meeting closed at 5.08 pm.

EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

20th Meeting, 2002 (Session 1)

Tuesday 25 June 2002

Present:

 

Jackie Baillie

Ian Jenkins

Irene McGugan

Mr Brian Monteith

Cathy Peattie (Deputy Convener)

Michael Russell

Karen Whitefield (Committee Substitute)

 

The meeting opened at 1.33 pm.

Purposes of Education: The Committee took evidence from-

Graham Leicester, Scottish Council Foundation

Tristan Leicester, Scottish Council Foundation

Matthew Farrow, CBI Scotland

The meeting was suspended at 3.28 pm and resumed at 3.37 pm.

The Committee took evidence from-

Andrew Brookes, Action of Churches Together in Scotland Education Group

John Deighan, Action of Churches Together in Scotland Education Group

Jack Laidlaw, Action of Churches Together in Scotland Education Group

Colin Brown, Action of Churches Together in Scotland Education Group

The meeting was suspended at 4.26 pm and resumed at 4.27 pm.

The Committee took evidence from-

Serwan Bhoghal, Scottish Inter Faith Council

Alex Reid, Scottish Inter Faith Council

Chris Foxon, Scottish Inter Faith Council

The meeting closed at 4.51 pm.

EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

23rd Meeting, 2002 (Session 1)

Tuesday 17 September 2002

Present:

 

Jackie Baillie

Karen Gillon (Convener)

Murdo Fraser (Committee substitute)

Ian Jenkins

Irene McGugan

Cathy Peattie (Deputy Convener)

Also present: Keir Bloomer (Adviser), Sally Brown (Adviser), Lindsay Paterson (Adviser)

Apologies: Michael Russell

The meeting opened at 2.19pm in Committee Room 3.

Purposes of Education: The Committee considered a draft summary of evidence from its advisers and a report of commissioned research from-

Kevin Lowden, the SCRE Centre

Anne Pirrie, the SCRE Centre

The Committee agreed a framework for a further report.

The meeting closed at 3.52pm.

EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

27th Meeting, 2002 (Session 1)

Tuesday 29 October 2002

Present:

 

Jackie Baillie

Karen Gillon (Convener)

Ian Jenkins

Irene McGugan

Mr Brian Monteith

 

Apologies: Cathy Peattie, Michael Russell

The meeting opened at 2.04pm in the Hub, Castlehill, Edinburgh.

Inquiry into purposes of Scottish education (in private): The Committee considered a draft report from its advisers and agreed that a further draft be considered in two weeks' time.

The meeting closed at 3.58pm.

EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

29th Meeting, 2002 (Session 1)

Tuesday 12 November 2002

Present:

 

Jackie Baillie

Karen Gillon (Convener)

Ian Jenkins

Irene McGugan

Mr Brian Monteith

Cathy Peattie

Michael Russell

 

The meeting opened at 2.04 pm in Committee Room 3.

Items in private: The Committee agreed to take items 3, 4 and 5 in private.

Purposes of Scottish Education (in private): The Committee considered a draft report and agreed that it should be considered again at its meeting on 3 December 2002.

The meeting closed at 2.57pm.

EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

31st Meeting, 2002 (Session 1)

Tuesday 3 December 2002

Present:

 

Jackie Baillie

Karen Gillon (Convener)

Ian Jenkins

Irene McGugan

Mr Brian Monteith

Cathy Peattie (Deputy Convener)

Michael Russell

 

The meeting opened at 2.03 pm.

Purposes of Scottish Education: The Committee agreed to defer this item until its meeting on 17 December.

The meeting closed at 3.43 pm.

EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

33rd Meeting, 2002 (Session 1)

Tuesday 17 December 2002

Present:

 

Jackie Baillie

Karen Gillon (Convener)

Ian Jenkins

Irene McGugan

Mr Brian Monteith

Michael Russell

   

Apologies: Cathy Peattie (Deputy Convener)

The meeting opened at 2.07 pm.

Item in private: The Committee agreed to take item 6 in private.

Inquiry into the Purposes of Scottish Education (in private): The Committee considered a draft report of the inquiry.

The meeting closed at 2.55 pm.

EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

5th Meeting, 2003 (Session 1)

Tuesday 18 February 2003

Present:

 

Jackie Baillie

Karen Gillon (Convener)

Ian Jenkins

Irene McGugan

Mr Brian Monteith

Cathy Peattie (Deputy Convener)

Michael Russell

 

Also present: Gil Paterson

The meeting opened at 3.03 pm.

Items in private: The Committee agreed to take items 4 and 5 in private

Purposes of Scottish Education inquiry: The Committee considered a further draft report. The Committee agreed to consider a further draft at its next meeting.

The meeting closed at 3.55 pm.

EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

6th Meeting, 2003 (Session 1)

Tuesday 25 February 2003

Present:

 

Jackie Baillie

Karen Gillon (Convener)

Ian Jenkins

Irene McGugan

Mr Brian Monteith

Michael Russell

   

Apologies: Cathy Peattie (Deputy Convener)

The meeting opened at 2.07 pm.

Item in private: The Committee agreed to take item 3 in private.

Inquiry into the Purposes of Scottish Education (in private): The Committee considered a further draft report. The report, as amended, was agreed to.

The meeting closed at 2.37 pm.


Footnotes

1 from 16 May 2002

2 from 29 November 2001

3 from 26 September 2002

4 from 16 May 2002

5 Mr Frank McAveety became Deputy Convener on 11 December 2001 until his resignation from the Committee on 9 May 2002

6 from 9 May 2002 to 26 September 2002

7 Cathy Peattie was Deputy Convener until her resignation from the Committee on 28 November 2001. Cathy Peattie became a member of the Committee again on 9 May 2002 and became Deputy Convener on 14 May 2002

8 from 7 January 2002

9 until 7 Janauary 2002

 

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