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Row looms on publishing data

Twenty similar schools are likely to be grouped together for relative progress to be established. But the contentious issue of whether the results should be published nationally, identifying underperforming schools, is yet to be decided.

Elizabeth Maginnis, the councils' education convener, believes targets must be "transparent, public and accountable. The days when we could keep these things secret are long gone."

But Ronnie Smith, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland and a member of the action group, said providing national comparative data would be "utterly pointless since the intention is not about making one school better or worse than another, but about each school trying to do better in relation to its past performance".

Brian Wilson said the standards group was genuinely advisory. "If it was not based on partnership and agreement, we would have gone ahead with changes that would not have carried consent and would therefore have lacked credibility, which would have been in nobody's interests."

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