A "comprehensive review" of guidance in both primary and secondary schools is one of the far-reaching recommendations from the task group.
The General Teaching Council for Scotland, meanwhile, has backed what it acknowledges will be a "substantial investment" of extending the guidance system into primary schools. The proposal is not costed in the report but if guidance were to be implemented on the same basis as in secondary schools - one promoted guidance post for every 150-200 pupils - this would require another 2800 guidance staff for 430,000 primary pupils at a cost in 2003 of pound;90 million.
The GTC report on primary guidanc suggests that "in light of the benefits of early intervention, it would seem a cost-effective investment to make."
But the council's report now looks likely to be overtaken by the new national review. The discipline group, and therefore the MInister, accepts the case for reform made by guidance teachers themselves, noting: "Guidance staff increasingly carry a much greater caseload of pupils requiring intensive support. This can often have a detrimental effect on their wider responsibilities for curricular and vocational guidance."
The group's report also backs "a level of guidance provision" in primary schools.