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The things that need to change

* Short-term contracts are demoralising for education researchers and "pernicious in their effects on the quality of research", Anne Pirrie, of the Scottish Council for Research in Education, said.

The last months of any contract were spent on looking for further employment rather than on writing up the report, Ms Pirrie said.

Funders such as the Scottish Office should be concerned about the quality of work and should seek to link short-term projects so that researchers could build up cohesive experience.

* Diana Kent, Stirling University, said that fifth and sixth-year pupils working for a modern language Higher often felt frustrated. Too many composite classes were shared with non-Higher pupils, too many pupils were unmotivated and worksheets were unsuitable and unmarked.

* "You may be a gentle Sermon on the Mount kind of person but you must fight your corner. You can't accept it when other teachers say, 'It's only RE'. " Alison Logie, religious studies teacher and Stirling University teaching fellow, on what future RE teachers need to know.

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