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'Full-service' to build on community pioneers

NEWS that every local authority is to have two "full-service" schools reinforces a community policy that had its origins in the United States and travelled to New St Andrews House via the unlikely route of Aberdeenshire.

The council revealed in April it was intending to create such schools at Banff, Fraserburgh and Peterhead academies.

The ubiquitous Scottish Office excellence fund, set up following the Treasury's comprehensive spending review, is now to be raided to extend the concept of community schools, pioneered in the former Strathclyde and Lothian regions.

The TES Scotland has learnt that ministers are contemplating a scheme that would build up gradually from Pounds 6 million for 32 schools in 16 authorities next year to Pounds 8 million for 42 schools in 21 authorities the following year, with full coverage costing Pounds 12 million in all councils by 2001.

The money would support the full-service concept in both primary and secondary schools, but could also involve "clusters" of secondaries and associated primaries. The aim is to break the "culture of failure" that strangles many schools in disadvantaged areas.

The cash will give the chosen schools an average grant of Pounds 150,000-Pounds 200,000 a year each. It is intended to be spent on managing and integrating education, health and social work services within schools.

This will involve training in multi-disciplinary working and adapting school premises.

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