THE Government is shortly to announce an expansion of specialist schools to answer critics of existing centres for sport, dance and music who complain that they are all based in the central belt and inaccessible to many pupils around Scotland.
The new "centres of excellence" will be based on the National Grid for Learning and will be piloted initially in modern languages. The scheme, targeted on pupils with an A award at Higher or who are moving on to Higher, will be tried out in East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire, Argyll and Bute and one education authority in the north still to be selected.
"The idea is to target very able pupils in languages, using the latest technology to link them," John Mulgrew, chairman of the modern languages action group, said.
At least one school in each authority will be developed as a base and will receive funding to equip a high-tech room devoted to languages, equipped with computers, video conferencing and satellite television.