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Computer unit fails to deliver

Administrative failures and "disappointments in the level of service" have placed the future of the Education Computer Support Unit in Glasgow in jeopardy, according to West Dunbartonshire.

The council's education committee was told last week that it is prepared to continue the service, although other west of Scotland authorities are considering setting up their networks.

The unit, based in the former Allan Glen's secondary in the city centre, provides centralised computer support to the councils within the former Strathclyde Region and has backing for two years.

Its most important role is running the delegated management of resources initiative but it also stores data on pupil records and attendance and links schools with the Scottish Examination Board and the Scottish Vocational Education Council.

Bob Cook, planning and resources manager in West Dunbarton, told councillors that other computer systems are now available. "It is this shortfall between the level of service expected and that delivered which has given rise to this uncertainty," Mr Cook stated.

However, he advised the council to continue its provisional agreement with the unit. To transfer to a different system would involve retraining administrative and finance assistants in secondaries and clerical assistants in primaries.

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