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Face up to the truth of failure in Falkirk

In responding to the leader of Falkirk Council's comment on my Platform piece (Letters, last week), I will firstly ignore the pathetic personal attack that sadly characterises local politics in this part of Scotland.

I'm glad, however, that David Alexander "thoroughly enjoyed" what he described as "an excellent article" and apparently agrees that a tougher inspection regime such as that proposed by the Scottish Executive is much needed in Falkirk.

Where else has the introduction of next year's secondary timetable been postponed because the directorate is allegedly "too busy" working out the implications of McCrone? What other education authority continues to condemn its pupils and teachers to cramped and crumbling classrooms through its own ideological intransigence, refusing to apply for funding through public private partnerships? Why has Falkirk slumped to third bottom of the exam performance table?

This is not a personalised or even a political attack. It is simply a recognition of poor local management displaying both a lack of vision and purpose. This requires urgent attention under the new inspection regime and, as I said in the original article, "all the indications are that this new get-tough policy will be aimed at Falkirk" - rightly so.

The truth of failure is an uncomfortable burden for all - individual candidates, political administrations, directorates - and the sooner those leading Falkirk Council, regardless of their political affiliation, face up to the task of dealing with that, rather than hurling abuse, the better for all concerned.

Ross Martin Director Scottish Forum for Modern Government

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