David Bell's opinion piece and Julia Belgutay's report in last week's TESS drew timely attention to Scottish education's biggest area of difficulty: young people who leave school at 16 with little sense of achievement in school, little understanding of the pathways they might follow, limited skills and insufficient educational structure to support their progress.
The 2007 report on Scottish schooling by the Organisation for Economic Co- operation and Development saw these weaknesses as the major structural problem for Scottish education.
National government must ensure the same support and clarity of pathways is available to all young people. The report recommended local authorities be given responsibility, and held accountable, for bringing together all those involved - schools, colleges, training agencies, employers. Yet local authorities show great variation in their capacity to deliver the full agenda of support and co-ordination required, while the Scottish Government did not take up that recommendation.
We need a stronger national framework for the 20 per cent who slip the net. The recommendations of the OECD report would provide a good starting point.
Daniel Murphy, Forth Crescent, Stirling.