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Higher Still goes to print

Higher Still chiefs are calling in the publishers to ensure schools get quality resources for the post-16 programme.

A meeting on Monday between the programme developers and representatives of all the major English-based educational publishers and a wide cross-section of Scottish publishers agreed to set up a framework to co-operate in what is a unique venture for an educational reform.

Ron Tuck, the chief inspector responsible for 16-18 education, told the meeting that the Higher Still programme was anxious to learn the lessons of Standard grade and offer high quality support material using the expertise of professional publishers.

His view was echoed by Mary Pirie, the programme's chief development officer, who said they wished "to avoid unnecessary workload implications for teachers in developing learning and teaching resources".

Teacher feedback during consultation was insistent on quality support materials being available before the reforms could be properly implemented.

Under the deal, the SOEID will subsidise publishers to provide materials which otherwise might not be commercially viable. Publishers will be invited to tender for the contract to publish in specific areas, and the successful applicants will receive exclusive access to 'Higher Still' course documents as they are being developed.

Advertisements to tender would appear "very soon," Mr Tuck said.

Susanne Gilmour of the Scottish Publishers' Association welcomed the benefits the move would bring to smaller Scottish publishers.

"Although the major educational publishers will obviously have greater resources for larger projects, there are clearly niche areas where some of our members could have something to offer the Higher Still programme, and we shall be alerting them to these possibilities as soon as we can," she said.

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