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Truth: a gift for all seasons

IT IS clear from your report (December 4) on the work of the Higher Still liaison group that official standards of literacy and numeracy are in sharp decline.

With reference to biology, it states "there are one or two new suggested learning activities but these are not compulsory". The subject guide for biology states there are 11 new learning activities, so it is difficult to understand how even in the era of spin-doctoring 11 can be reduced to one or two.

While it states these are not compulsory such a phrase should carry a health warning that any school which fails "to provide an improved balance or reliable experiments" would be portrayed as failing its pupils. This therefore casts doubt on 0-5 per cent minimal change. The truth from the Scottish Office Education and Industry Department would be a welcome Christmas present.

Bill Guthrie

Argyle Street, Dundee

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