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Composite 'shibboleth' disowned;In brief

COMPOSITE classes in Scotland were described as "some great shibboleth" by the Education Minister. Sam Galbraith told the Scottish Parliament's education committee on Wednesday that there was "no educational case" for having different sizes for composite classes and non-composites. Local authorities are proposing to bring primary composite classes, currently limited to 25 pupils, into line with the new suggested maximum of 30. They said this week that the move would cut the number of composites in larger primaries by two-thirds and only some 900 primary classes out of 17,488 would rise above the 25-pupil mark.

In the latest war of words with the unions, Danny McCafferty, the authorities' lead negotiator, pledged once again that there would be a review of progress on phasing in the class size changes in 2003.

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