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Oscars stay locked in the minister's cupboard

Oscars stay locked in the minister's cupboard

Praise has been effectively rationed by the Scottish Executive. Last week, Jack McConnell, Education Minister, took the unusual step of lauding St Modan's High, Stirling, after an inspection and pledged further praise where appropriate.

This week inspectors gave their verdict on two secondaries and seven primaries, and only Quarff primary in Shetland has serious question marks against it.

A ministerial Oscar might equally have gone to Barrhead High, singled out by The TES Scotland two weeks ago for excellent work in doubling entry figures to higher education.

At St Modan's, 12 areas were classed as very good, six good and two fair. Lessons were very good in 36 per cent of classes, good in 58 per cent and fair in 6 per cent.

Yet it's a similar story at Barrhead where 10 indicators are very goo and another 10 good. Lessons are very good in 32 per cent of classes, good in 54 per cent, fair in 13 per cent and unsatisfactory in 1 per cent.

At Millburn Academy in Inverness, five indicators are very good and 14 good. Only one is fair.

Down the age range, Kettle primary at Kingskettle in Fife surpasses its elders. Twelve indicators are very good, eight good and there are none in the fair or unsatisfactory range. Teaching is exceptionally strong, with 55 per cent of lessons very good and 45 per cent good.

At Carrbridge primary in Highland, there are eight indicators classed as very good and 12 good. Thirty-one per cent of lessons are very good and 54 per cent good.

Mr McConnell declared last week: "It is just as important to praise schools when they have worked hard."

This week, others are awaiting the public approbation.

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