Cosla at the crossroads
Directors of education (who themselves now sail under a confusing array o flags) have beefed up their association, which in effect has become the principal link between the Executive and the councils running schools. But the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland represents professionals and not locally elected politicians. In the council-by-council negotiations which follow from the McCrone agreement, the ADES can no doubt keep its members in touch with which is happening across the country. But if Cosla ceases to be the recognised channel, council leaders will find it hard to steer a course between the Executive, their own professional officers and the teacher unions.
In further education, the Association of Scottish Colleges lost two of its largest members. It is still the voice of college management, but there is a difference between FE and local government. FE principals can do as they and their boards think fit. Councils have to answer to voters.