Individualism as a political and social philosophy is commonly attributed to Thomas Hobbs and John Locke. Other analysts describe individualism as a Christian invention popularised by the Pietists.
Whatever you believe, individualism is hardly the insult implied by Ewan Aitken in his TES Scotland article last week. Certainly, we all need guidance on how to live, the clearer and firmer the better. In the past, guidance was provided by the church and more recently emanated from officials ensconced in those wood-panelled rooms in Edinburgh so eloquently described by the late R F McKenzie. The times are a' changing.
The western world is moving to a system where people get a choice on how to live their lives, with education providing the foundation as always.
Choice within, but not between, schools is the mantra of the Scottish educational establishment. Finland provides an excellent example of how best to achieve this in practice. I am not the first to observe that Scotland is not Finland, and never will be.