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Common cause

It is gratifying to see education authorities speak with one voice. Indeed, as reactions pile up to plans to ditch the 44-year-old Schools (Scotland) Code, it is uncanny.

Clackmannanshire comments: "The code concerns itself with matters such as numbers of staff, qualifications, management structures and class sizes. It was apparently taken for granted that ensuring a uniform application of standards in such matters will produce a good quality of service. Over the intervening years, this assumption has come to be seriously questioned."

Or, as East Renfrewshire put it: "It implies that the application of uniform standards in matters such as numbers of staff, class sizes and management structures will produce a good quality of service. More modern thinking is cncerned with outcomes."

A single hymn sheet also seems to have been produced for special needs. "The complexity of individual circumstances do not lend themselves to regulation," North Lanarkshire says of the integration drive. "This is not something that can be controlled by regulation," agrees Dumfries and Galloway.

According to Clackmannan, "the question therefore is not whether staff should be suitably qualified but whether it is necessary or useful to stipulate in regulation how they should be qualified." For East Renfrewshire "the question therefore is not whether staff should be suitably qualified but whether it is necessary or useful to stipulate in regulation how they should be qualified."

Three cheers for joined-up local government.

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