Why Galbraith couldn't press the nuclear button

6th October 2000 at 01:00
David Henderson and Neil Munro report on the latest exchanges as Holyrood continues to probe the exams fiasco

THE Education Minister could think of no circumstances in which he could have used the "nuclear power" to order direct intervention at the height of the problems in late June and July.

Addressing the lifelong learning committee, Sam Galbraith again reiterated that he had limited powers to intervene in the day-to-day running of the authority, and even then only after fomal consultation.

"You don't have powers to walk in any time and do anything, interfere and take over functions. You have this nuclear option at the end and you would have to have reasonable grounds to use a power that has never been used before. I still find it difficult to conceive of any situation in which I could have used it," Mr Galbraith said.

He continued to press the point: "It's not as if there was another SQA sitting on the sidelines waiting to come in."

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