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Unions 'failing pupils'

THE headteacher of one of Scotland's five pathfinder new community schools launched a blistering attack on union attitudes this week.

Alastair Struthers, head of Lochend Secondary in Glasgow's Easterhouse, said that teachers "did not want to know" about the three-week summer school he says is essential if pupils' work is not to regress from one session to the next.

Addressing a conference of fellow heads, Mr Struthers said staff employed on different contracts, such as psychologists, social workers and community education employees, are more willing to become involved. "Teachers' input is essential and I am very, very unhappy if it is going to be left up toothers.

It's not good for our image quite frankly."

The Government plans to create 64 new community school projects throughout Scotland over the next three years at a cost of pound;26 million and it has now emerged that the idea might be exported south of the border to tackle the problems of families living on the toughest estates.

A report due next month by the schools team from the Whitehall initiative on social exclusion is expected to argue for a one-stop community base that combines schooling with health and social service agencies. Officials from south of the border have already visited one of the Scottish pilots based on Peterhead Academy.

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