First step to league tables
The only part of the Education (Schools) Bill applying to Scotland is a section ushering in the publication of exam and test results for every school in the country (except primary schools in Scotland), along with truancy rates and the job and college or university destinations of school leavers. The Bill does not spell that out, but allows the Secretary of State to make regulations on what information is made available.
Backtrack on home economics
The Scottish Examination Board has raised the number of passes in last summer's revised home economics Higher to almost 20 per cent, following appeals from candidates who were presented with a rogue paper. About 100 pupils have benefited. Originally 4 per cent passed, the worst pass rate in the SEB's history.
Crackdown on test rebels
Local authorities have been told to implement national primary testing or face the consequences. Speaking to the Scottish Parent Teacher Council in Glasgow, Michael Forsyth issued a stern warning that testing was not "optional". The Education Minister suggested he had been lenient in enforcing last year's pilot tests and made clear the Government would no longer sit back and allow councils to flout the law.
1993 deadline for FE shake-up
There were few surprises when the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Bill, the only specifically Scottish legislation in the final parliamentary session, was published. The major provision among the 30 FE clauses is the transfer of the 44 colleges from local authority to central government control on April 1, 1993, under new boards of management. The Secretary of State will have power to create other self-governing colleges later.
When comparisons are odious
League tables, it seems, are here to stay - and not only when it comes to comparing schools. Six weeks ago, in the beautiful country just outside Lugano in Switzerland, 200 representatives of 21 countries met to thrash out the problems in comparing their widely differing education systems. An arm of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has sponsored the project to identify key indicators.