The much heralded review of Scottish culture and survey of national opinion will not be published by the Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum which instituted it. A meeting of the council last week rejected the review in its present form, although the work of the 22-member review group had already been extensively revised.
Group member Boyd Robertson, senior lecturer in Gaelic at Strathclyde University, described the decision as "incredible and reprehensible, an insult not only to the working group but to the people of Scotland, having started to engage them in defining their culture". He said it would "give fodder" to those who questioned the structure and membership of the SCCC.
The council's chairman Neil Galbraith, who also chaired the review group, expressed "disappointment" at the decision, but said that the SCCC did not always publish reports presented to it.
Mr Galbraith, director of education in the Western Isles, denied that political sensitivity lay behind the decision. But he accepted that issues of Scottish "entity" had worried council members. The review group's report would be worked up in the context of the new parliament and ideas about citizenship and sustainable development.
The SCCC advises the Government on what should be taught in schools. Mr Galbraith said implications for the Scottish Nationalists' challenge to Labour had not been mentioned at the council meeting. "We are dealing with an apolitical document, but we do have to gauge a consensus for the Secretary of State."
The review group circulated a wide range of organisations and individuals in an attempt to define Scottish culture and what young people should learn. The report proposed enhancing the place of Scottish topics in the curriculum - but in ways that will not now become public.