Assessing councils;Letter

6th August 1999 at 01:00
BEING misrepresented is nothing new for me, so John Connell's comments (TESS, July 30) were only to be expected. He chooses to ignore the main point of my letter and in so doing confirms what I suspected from his original Platform article - he is not interested in improving the administration of Scottish education - simply in preserving the status quo.

However, it is disappointing that he should indulge in personal denigration: it does not contribute to the argument and is often an attempt to obscure the issues being raised by those with whom you do not agree.

The TES Scotland is right to welcome debate on this issue, and the editor may feel that there are no lessons to be learnt from the Health Service (Leader, July 30). However, he should note that Neil Munro correctly reported that the attraction of Health Service trusts for me is that they have "one function and one focus".

I too have concerns about how their members are appointed and it may be that a detailed evaluation of their operation would confirm the editor's view.

This is precisely my point: there needs to be an inquiry to produce an objective assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of alternative arrangements so that there can be informed debate.

The idiosyncratic preferences of former directors of education, current members of education directorates or anybody else are irrelevant - the education service has had enough changes forced upon it in recent years without preliminary research on the likely effects.

I believe that Scotland deserves the best possible arrangement for the administration of its education service and it is worth the effort to investigate the options. I hope the Parliament will agree.

Ian Dutton Stichill Kelso

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