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11,000 questions to answer

The education committee continues to range widely, from its statutory duty probing legislation to its own initiatives such as the recent investigation into the school curriculum.

The other major committee dealing with education, enterprise and culture, has been less engaged - perhaps coincidentally since it changed its name after last year's election from the enterprise and lifelong learning committee. Its only contribution since then has been the quaintly named "Scottish solutions" inquiry into the effects on Scotland of tuition top-up fees in England.

Other committees also have their say - the audit committee, for example, which in the past year has issued critical reports on the individual learning accounts scheme and on the Scottish Further Education Funding Council, as well as some of the work of the public petitions committee.

Then there are the parliamentary debates, the 11,000 oral and written questions asked by the 129 MSPs in the current year, members' postbags and the new public right to petition the Parliament.

The education committee continues to range widely, from its statutory duty probing legislation to its own initiatives such as the recent investigation into the school curriculum.

The other major committee dealing with education, enterprise and culture, has been less engaged - perhaps coincidentally since it changed its name after last year's election from the enterprise and lifelong learning committee. Its only contribution since then has been the quaintly named "Scottish solutions" inquiry into the effects on Scotland of tuition top-up fees in England.

Other committees also have their say - the audit committee, for example, which in the past year has issued critical reports on the individual learning accounts scheme and on the Scottish Further Education Funding Council, as well as some of the work of the public petitions committee.

Then there are the parliamentary debates, the 11,000 oral and written questions asked by the 129 MSPs in the current year, members' postbags and the new public right to petition the Parliament.

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