The Scottish Labour Party could go into the Holyrood elections next year on a platform of removing education from local authority control, after its conference last weekend considered a policy consultation paper which moves cautiously in that direction.
The need for radical change has the heavyweight support of Peter Peacock, the former Labour education minister, who believes education should be run by 12 regional boards, which would be responsible for all spending on schools.
The party's policy paper raises the question of whether the present system of 32 separate authorities in charge of education is "the most effective and efficient use of resources". It points out that colleges and universities are funded directly by central government and run by governing bodies.
A spokesman for the Scottish government described Mr Peacock's suggestion as "a radical proposal that will no doubt initiate a serious debate". But ministers have "no current plans" to review the number of education authorities. NM.