* Ronnie Smith, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, welcomed any new investment for schools operating under particularly difficult circumstances. "However, we must be vigilant and ensure that such schools are not viewed negatively as a result of this. There should be no stigma attaching to schools which are operating in especially challenging circumstances as this would be devastating to staff and pupil morale," Mr Smith said.
* Ewan Aitken, the local authorities' education spokesman, said councils were already committed to raising the bar on quality. "We also understand the need to provide specific support for some schools and will be seeking early discussions with the Executive on how the schools will be selected."