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Northern what? Alliance proves to be anonymous

Collaborative hits back after MSPs find that many teachers haven’t heard of the much-vaunted body

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A narrative has built up around the controversial Regional Improvement Collaboratives (RICs), repeated so often that it has been treated as a given.

It goes like this: the problem with these six groupings of local authorities is that they have been mandated by government, whereas the model collaboration between councils they are inspired by – the Northern Alliance – has proven a success because it sprung up organically.

The truth, however, appears not so simple: when MSPs travelled to one area covered by the Northern Alliance, they discovered that even the prototypical regional collaborative ...

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