Letter: School governance reform

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Sir,

Deputy first minister John Swinney is now requiring local authorities to devolve powers and budgets to local schools.

If councils do not respond within the next year, he has vowed to legislate for improved  school governance across the country.

The fear of making mistakes has led to an unwillingness to experiment and a total absence of diversity to suit individual communities.

Council authorities have prevented head teachers and staff from running their schools and classes in their pupils’ true interests.

Councils have failed to recognise the very significant contribution which broadly constituted and empowered school councils could make to the overall education system.

Schools have had little incentive to cut back wasteful expenditure.

The shortage of resources being allocated to education is of course partly to blame for the mess we are in, but it is by no means the whole story.

We have an ideal opportunity to introduce governance reforms so as to ensure that policies are shaped to local circumstances; otherwise we could all well end up with more direction from St Andrew’s House.

Is it too much to hope that councillors and education officials in every education authority will play their part in restoring Scotland’s state schools to their once iconic world status?

Angus Tulloch,

Longniddry.