West Lothian - Subject choice takes the bus

14th May 2010 at 01:00

Sweeping changes to subject choice for senior pupils are under way in West Lothian.

The moves reflect early signs of the fresh thinking which the effects of the new Curriculum for Excellence and future budget cuts are likely to produce across Scotland.

Pupils will now be bussed to designated host schools to study minority subjects. These will be at Advanced Higher level but will include Highers as well, where numbers are too small for subjects to be offered in every secondary.

The scheme will use online learning resources such as Glow and Scholar, and is being seen as a valuable way of encouraging take-up of new baccalaureates.

The local authority envisages that the 2,700 fifth and sixth- year pupils will only have to be bussed to another school once a week.

Gordon Ford, director of education and cultural services at West Lothian, said the changes would benefit pupils socially because they will no longer have to study in isolated groups.

He added that the original motivation behind the initiative was to end the "postcode lottery", whereby size of school often determined what senior pupils could study. HH.

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