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EIS climbs on board new Higher Still planning group

The Educational Institute of Scotland has come in from the cold by accepting membership of the Higher Still implementation group, which met for the first time last week.

George MacBride, the union's education convener, is one of the 18-strong team which replaces the national strategy group under the chairmanship of Douglas Osler, senior chief inspector of schools.

The EIS has previously boycotted the Higher Still machinery, although the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association was represented by Bill Walker, depute rector at Inverness Royal Academy, whose involvement will continue as a member of the implementation group.

The others are: Michael O'Neill, North Lanarkshire director of education; Iain McMillan, CBI director; John Travers, North Ayrshire director of education; Tom McGrenary, principal of Cumbernauld College; Iain Ovens, principal of Dundee College; Alison Kirby, convener of the Scottish Parent Teacher Council; Brian Lockhart, head of Robert Gordon's College, Aberdeen; Tony Gavin, head of St Margaret's Academy, Livingston; Cameron Harrison, chief executive of the Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum; Bart McGettrick, principal of St Andrew's College; James MacCallum, pro-principal of St Andrews University; Alan Blackie, East Lothian director of education representing the Scottish Community Education Council; Ron Tuck, chief executive of the Scottish Qualifications Authority; Philip Banks, HM chief inspector; Dick Jackson, head of Scottish Office post-16 qualifications division.

Four specialist committees have been set up on employment and training to be chaired by Mr McMillan, further education chaired by Mr Ovens, schools chaired by Mr Gavin, and higher education chaired by Professor MacCallum. Mr Travers will continue to chair an information and publicity group.

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