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Take to the Hills

Peter Peacock is keeping some dangerous company these days. The Education Minister confessed at the annual Edinburgh Conference last Friday that he had been speaking to Sir Graham Hills, free-thinking founding father of the University of the Highlands and Islands project.

Whatever next?

"Knowledge is baggage," the sage on the stage told the Education Minister.

"So travel lightly." We hope the programme board leading the curriculum reforms has taken note.

The conference, sponsored by The TES Scotland, brought together a range of overseas experts to talk about . . . well, learning (page four) - global learning, to be exact. So frequently did Peacock refer to the educational glories of Finland that Eamon Stack, chief inspector of schools in Ireland, was moved to intervene: "The flight to Helsinki is now closing . . ."

Not only did the conference attract an overseas contingent, it also pulled in some from Shetland - and even Glasgow. One from the latter was Frances Gallagher, an educational adviser (as they are not) in the dear green place where, she announced, "we do not have problems, only opportunities".

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