* The committees backing the reform are to be restructured. The strategy group is being replaced by an implementation group, chaired by senor chief inspector, Douglas Osler. It will have five sub-groups: information and publicity, school, FE, HE and employment and training. The groups will be established in the New Year.
* The first 150 pilot examples of the test items, to be drawn from the national assessment bank, should be available by the end of March. Around 1,500 items are envisaged.
* Consultation on the Higher Still framework involved over 200 seminars, briefing 8,500 staff. A further 1,500 individual responses were received. Around 100 national trainers are to begin work in the spring to ease the implementation phase and initiate staff development at senior management levels. Schools and colleges will be responsible for training below middle management.
* "I would fully support the Scottish Office view that we have to forge ahead with this and make progress where we can, otherwise others will overtake us and the prosperity of the country will become second-class." Ron Gow, assistant director, CBI Scotland.