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National priorities 'will break system'

Neil Munro and John Cairney report from the Scottish Education and Teaching with Technology show in Glasgow

The serious pursuit of the five national priorities in education "will break the system", according to one of the leading educational thinkers in Scotland.

Keir Bloomer, Clackmannanshire's chief executive, told the conference in a keynote address that three of the priorities - promoting inclusion and equality, developing values and citizenship education, and stimulating lifelong learning - have not in the past been the province of schools.

Later, he told The TES Scotland: "The range of learning opportunities pupils have to be offered under the national priorities is such that schools cannot provide them as they are presently constituted, and they certainly cannot do so alone.

"There are huge implications for schools: values and citizenship, for example, has so much to say about the relationships between teachers and learners and indeed about the voice of young people themselves. So schools cannot accommodate the five priorities, if they are to be pursued seriously, given the curricular and organisational framework we have at the moment - which is the reason I say that they will break the system."

Mr Bloomer also doubted that schools have the mix of staff the political agenda will require.

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