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Second bite for minister

If you have a good story, tell it twice. That appears to be the Government approach to educational spending announcements in the week following the 40,000-strong protest march in Edinburgh (report, page five).

Raymond Robertson, the Education Minister, said on Tuesday that Pounds 9 million was being made available for in-service training of teachers community education workers. The same pledge had already been given in December following the Secretary of State's public expenditure settlement.

Mr Robertson said then: "Over Pounds 9 million has been made available next year to contribute towards the cost of funding staff development for teachers linked directly to areas of national priority such as Higher Still, teacher appraisal and the 5-14 programme."

This week's statement makes no mention of teacher appraisal and merely repeats the Government's commitment of Pounds 2.5 million for Higher Still training next year.

The only new element lies in the minister's "revamp" of the specific grant scheme to allow authorities greater flexibility. Instead of 14 subject areas, there are to be four broad categories: management issues, curriculum issues, community education and others (mainly of local priority).

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