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Tory bid to slim quangos

SCOTTISH Conservatives want a quango cull in education and may call for more mergers between agencies. The Rifkind Commission, set up by the party to review its Scottish future, has already backed a merger between the Inspectorate and the General Teaching Council.

"It's that sort of thing we will be looking at," Brian Monteith, the party's education spokesman, said. "This is not just about savings as these type of savings will hardly reduce income tax, but it is to give a clear definition in the public mind who are the education leaders and to simplify education structures."

Mr Monteith, Holyrood candidate in Stirling, said it might make more sense to bring bodies together. Agencies under the microscope would include the GTC, the Scottish Council for Research in Education, the Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum (already likely to merge with the Scottish Council for Educational Technology), the Scottish Community Education Council, and the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council.

"The Tories were as guilty as their predecessors in talking about reducing them but inevitably after 18 years created new ones. It is prudent to review these bodies from time to time," Mr Monteith said.

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