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An ambition too far for ministers

Another Scottish Executive target bites the dust - or gets reformulated. The decision to remove the target to have every school achieve integrated community school status by next year (page one) had an inevitability about it. There was little evidence that any of the foot-soldiers in any of the professions concerned were burning with the Executive's passion. Even professional leaderships varied in their devotion, and that was made clear in the 2004 HMIE report which effectively pronounced the last rites. That has a pleasing symmetry about it since it was inspectors who furnished the idea after Labour's 1997 victory.

What happens now? "Every school will participate in delivering integrated children's services" is undoubtedly a softer target. But the message ought to be that integrated working must be the consequence of what evolves naturally from the classroom. That's when integration becomes truly "embedded".

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