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Councils form joint venture

Senior school staff will be offered courses in management and leadership in a pioneering venture between a university and five local authorities. The initiative has come from North Lanarkshire Council which has formed a partnership with the Quality in Education Centre at Strathclyde University.

Clackmannan, Falkirk, Stirling, all from the Central Region area, and Perth and Kinross have joined the consortium, which Michael O'Neill, North Lanarkshire's director, describes as "this diamond in the centre of Scotland, which demonstrates an innovative model of inter-authority co-operation".

For North Lanarkshire's headteachers the new arrangements will take over the role of Strathclyde Region's Staff College, including accreditation of qualifications in school management.

John MacBeath, director of the Quality in Education Centre, said the partnership offered collaboration while the Government promoted "competition and fragmentation of the education service".

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