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What to do with the parents?

It is difficult to find fault with the "apple pie" issues surrounding the Scottish Executive's proposals on parent involvement in education. Of course, it is axiomatic that parents only want to be involved with their own children's education. And it is widely agreed that the current school board regulatory regime is too inflexible and offputting for many parents.

Did we have to wait 16 years, since the school board legislation appeared as the Trojan horse for opting out, to have this confirmed?

Those who live their lives by structures will inevitably find fault with the latest plans to involve parents - although the views of the Scottish School Board Association appear somewhat schizophrenic, with an apparently unconditional welcome included in the Executive's press release and a more hostile tone adopted in its general comments.

Whatever views will crystallise during consultation, we believe it is a generally sound policy to let schools decide how they should involve parents, without the dafter encumbrances of the school board legislation.

If schools can be trusted to set up their own arrangements for pupil councils, why not leave them to get on with it when it comes to parent involvement? Parent involvement is always going to be ad hoc and erratic, so any structures should reflect that.

We note in passing that Peter Peacock has now added school boards to his escutcheon of the things the Executive has ditched from the Michael Forsyth era, following opting out and national exam tables.

Is this significant?

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