All change

IT is not just some of the pupils entering primary and secondary who will be in unfamiliar surroundings as schools go back. So will staff as they come to grips with new schools from Ardnamurchan to Glasgow.

The coming session promises to usher in even more unfamiliarity with a string of new proposals which may or may not be worth the paper they are written on. The national debate on education will crank up a gear as the Education Minister reveals her hand, the parliamentary education committee will deliver its analysis of the purposes of education and MSPs on the lifelong learning committee will finally issue their conclusions on the post-16 scene.

Perhaps more crucial than any of these, however, will be the unveiling by the Scottish Executive next month of its plans to divide the spoils from the Chancellor's spending review. Education has received the lion's share south of the border, although that is no harbinger of favoured treatment in Scotland (as the Scottish Executive's decision to devote all of the earlier largesse from the Budget to health indicated).

As the head of Alloa Academy reveals this week (ScotlandPlus, page six), the allocation of funds to schools is rapidly becoming a farce. This is perhaps the most familiar of all issues confronting teachers and pupils and the Executive should tackle it urgently.

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