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Upbeat look for research

THE NEW director of the Scottish Council for Research in Education is to be Valerie Wilson, at present an official in the Government unit responsible for awarding researchers some of their mainstay contracts.

Dr Wilson worked at the SCRE as a senior researcher under the previous director, Wynne Harlen, who retired at the end of May. She has been with the Scottish Office's educational research unit since 1996 where she has promoted studies of pre-school and primary education as well as providing research-based advice to policy-makers and HMI.

Dr Wilson will be familiar with the complaint from researchers that, as Professor Harlen put it, "there is a danger of spending more on the bidding process than you could earn from the contract".

Her own interests have focused on managing change in small primary schools and multidisciplinary professional education. She told The TES Scotland: "Research has to reassert its importance, both to policy-makers and to practitioners in the classroom."

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