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Glasgow lessons

THE report on Glasgow's education service (page one) is a salutary reminder that perception is not everything. A number of eyebrows have been quietly raised at some of the inspectorate's judgments in its 11 education authority reports, leading to charges of inconsistency. But the inspectorate can reasonably point out that, just as it is unfair to judge schools by the perception rather than the substance, it should be the same for authorities.

Glasgow's education department was not, of course, being judged solely on the performance of its schools, but on the way it managed and monitored them. On that count, the department has been pronounced a success whatever quibbles the council may have with some of the inspectors' less full-hearted endorsements.

Their report is also a salutary reminder that the scale of the challenge facing Scotland's largest education authority is daunting. It has 52 of the 90 most deprived communities in the country. So the third salutary reminder from the report is that schools cannot do it all.

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