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Brighter futures are the frontier

Scotland's strategy for the future must be based on learning - both in school and beyond it - the First Minister said this week.

Jack McConnell's vision for the next 20 years, based on economic, health, education and environmental indicators, will mean investing a greater share of public spending on education, Mr McConnell said in Stirling at the launch of the Futures Project.

"It is through education and lifelong learning that we can best deal with our inequalities and wasted human potential, and secure the advantage that we will need in the world of change and tough competition," he said.

Praising Scottish pupils' international rating in many subjects, Mr McConnell nevertheless warned that energy had to be focused on the one in 20 who leaves school with no formal qualifications, the one in eight who receives free school meals and the high proportion of 16-19s who are not in education, employment or training.

Mr McConnell said: "We need to consider the nature of learning, the way we do it, the scale of what is delivered, because we need to achieve more and involve more people in that achievement."

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