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Village fete

The Scottish Education Village continues to expand this year. As in previous years, there are two Learning Zones running a programme of about 58 sessions that complement the main programme.

So visitors who have heard a speaker from the United States, for example, may also have the chance to speak to him at the Learning Zone; or if a particular resource is discussed at the conference, they may be able to try it out for themselves. (The full programme is on www.scottishlearningfestival.com.)

It is not often that teachers have the chance to raise issues directly with school inspectors, the national exam body or the Scottish Executive, but now is their chance. HM Inspectorate of Education, the SQA and the Executive will all have stands in the village.

HMIE has timetabled a rota of inspectors to be available for discussions on a one-to-one basis. The SQA will also offer one-to-one or small group discussions, as well as software demonstrations. And the Executive will have staff representing its various divisions: improvement, parents, young people, curriculum, ambition. So, whether it is leadership, parents or the health agenda you want discuss, there should be someone there to answer your questions.

As Martin Jack, the head of professional development at Learning and Teaching Scotland says: "It's more of a small town or suburbia than a village."

Stands B20, D20, E20

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