Minutes of Evidence:  10 May 2001




(University of Strathclyde and Scottish Parliament)

Thursday 10 May 2001

Members present:
Mr Kennedy (Chairperson)
Mrs E Bell
Ms Lewsley
Mr McElduff
Mr McHugh

Prof T Bryce University of Strathclyde
Prof W Humes University of Strathclyde
Ms K Gillon MSP Scottish Parliament
Ms C Peattie MSP Scottish Parliament

The Chairperson:

Good afternoon. We are very pleased to be, not in Northern Ireland today, but in Edinburgh, Scotland. We thank the Scottish Education, Culture and Sport Committee and its staff for assisting us in making this possible. We have a sense of the historic nature of this event. It is my understanding that this is the first time another Assembly has held a formal meeting within the precincts of the Scottish Parliament.

Ms Gillon:

We are delighted to have you here. We know that you have been out and about looking at Scottish education, and we hope that you found that informative and useful. If there is anything else that we can do to be of assistance to the Committee, we will be more than happy to help. I hope that you find the further evidence sessions just as informative, and that you enjoy the rest of your visit to Scotland.

The Chairperson:

I am pleased to welcome Prof Bryce and Prof Humes from the University of Strathclyde.

Prof Bryce:

We are pleased to offer some information about Scottish comprehensive education and hope that we will be of some help to you.

You asked us why Scottish comprehensive education is perceived so positively, and whether that perception is accurate. In our judgement, it is. Our education system is positively perceived, for the most part, and has been for quite some time. In 1965, the existing model of junior and senior secondary was changed, for a variety of reasons. One reason is that, from the outset, there was a perception that a change to the senior secondary school model - mainly in terms of curriculum, but also structures - did not threaten obvious matters such as standards.

Prior to 1965, there were schools in the more rural parts of Scotland that had provided an "omnibus" function. The public was accustomed to viewing secondary schools as places where all the school population would go. Therefore, the setting up of local comprehensive secondaries was a relatively easy move in Scotland at that time.

We have tried to highlight in our submission how important it is for comprehensives to vary in their style and manner, because of the big differences in the catchment areas that they serve. Were you to go to the more affluent schools, or the less affluent ones in the cities, or the country schools, you would see differences between them, but, broadly speaking, the different populations that they serve are contented. In other words, although they may differ, they satisfy a lot of people, and that is important.

We are conscious that there have been changes to many of the schools since 1965, some having come up, some having gone down. In other words, factors such as the local economy, housing, and catchment areas directly affect schools, and that has happened in the past. All those economic factors, as well as straightforward educational factors, have led to schools changing. We can certainly think of schools that have risen to the top of the lists of schools that have been judged successful by achievements at Standard grade or Higher grade in the comprehensive system - a system that 95% of the population in Scotland are part of. Some have risen to the top of that list and, therefore, are justifiably well regarded. There are other schools that have not done so well, but we attribute that to economic factors rather than anything else.

Specialisation of comprehensive schools is a relatively recent phenomenon in Scotland, particularly in Glasgow, for example, where schools specialise in, for example, dance, music or sport. Our early judgement is that this is not changing greatly the generally positive view that people have of comprehensive schools. It is changing things slowly. We do not anticipate that those changes will alter in speed. It means that children are moving about a bit more, taking longer journeys to get to those schools in Glasgow that offer the specialisation that parents want to capitalise on.

A bigger shift has been caused by the legislation in the early 1980s that gave parents the right to choose secondary schools. That has caused more people to select a school that is not in their local area. However, such selection has not happened to a large extent. About 10% of the population go to a school other than the one in their immediate vicinity. It has affected primary/secondary school liaison a little, and we will return to that topic shortly. On the whole, it is a relatively successful story.

Prof Humes:

One of the main concerns of any system contemplating a move from a process of selection to a comprehensive system is how pupils of different ability will be catered for. In Scotland, we have tried different modes of pupil grouping since 1965. Probably the dominant pattern has been mixed ability grouping in the first and second years of secondary school. Beyond that, in the third and fourth years, there has been a tendency towards setting, that is, grouping by ability within particular subjects rather than across all subjects. However, more recently there has been a tendency, arising from evidence from inspectorate reports, to move towards earlier setting, including setting in the first two years of secondary school - particularly the second year.

However, there are variations between subjects. English teachers and teachers of science tend to prefer mixed ability in years 1 and 2. Teachers of mathematics tend to prefer grouping by ability. There is an ongoing professional debate about the best means of arranging pupil groupings for teaching and learning purposes, and teachers' views are quite varied on the matter.

One of the key points I want to stress is that any switch to a comprehensive system should not be seen merely as a structural change. It is not simply a matter of operating in a different structural set-up. There are all sorts of other implications. There are implications for the nature of the curriculum, the resources that are used in teaching, the examination system and, not least, teacher development and opportunities for teachers to engage in development opportunities. If you move to a comprehensive system, it will not be a simple structural change; it has knock-on effects that will vary over time, and the debate will continue for quite a long time.

One of the features of educational reform in Scotland has been that change usually has taken longer than was anticipated. Comprehensivisation was introduced in 1965, and it was a long time before people felt that they were getting near a system that most people were comfortable with.

With regard to current issues arising from grouping of pupils and pupil performance, there are concerns about pupil achievement in the first and second years of secondary school, particularly the achievement of boys. That is not purely a Scottish phenomenon, it is an international phenomenon, and it has led, among other things, to pressures for earlier setting within subjects. It has also led to an attempt to challenge pupils more and to set them higher standards. The drive for standards has been one of the main policy objectives of the current Government.

The underachievement of pupils in post-primary years 1 and 2 also raises questions about the continuity between primary school and secondary school. The 5-14 development programme has been a major plank of the Government's strategy to drive up standards in Scotland. It has led to significant improvements across a range of subjects at primary schools. Evidence from inspectorate reports is that the secondary schools have benefited less from the 5-14 programme.

There are various ways of tackling that. Strenuous efforts have been made to improve communication between staff in primary schools and staff in secondary schools so that there is an attempt to build on the work that has been achieved by primary 7, rather than the old approach, which thought of pupils being given a fresh start in secondary school and did not take account of the work that had been done in primary school.

Our experience has been that mixed-ability grouping has worked in certain subject areas. In the lower secondary school there has been a drive to closely monitor the level of achievement that that pattern has allowed for. The official view now is that setting in most subjects should be introduced earlier rather than later, in the interests of ensuring continuity between primary and secondary and maintaining high standards.

With regard to the upper levels of secondary school, we have a Standard grade programme in S3 and S4 and we are introducing the "Higher Still" programme at S5 and S6. The most significant change in Scottish secondary education over the last decade has been the increasing number of students staying on beyond the statutory leaving age. Part of the reason for that has been the opportunities that the comprehensive system has allowed, which may not have been the same within a continued selective system.

Prof Bryce:

Is the liaison between schools and industry and commerce being done well in Scotland? There are a number of different parts to that question. The most significant is the recent introduction of the "Higher Still" programme, which is revamping S5 and S6 - and on into the further education curriculum - to give a multi-level certificate arrangement. It is changing the content of many subjects, and it would be fair to say that several of them are taking on board more vocational elements. That is popular both within schools and beyond schools, and it is beginning to work.

The science subjects have been very careful to look to industrial needs and applications. Throughout the alterations to Standard grade courses, S3, S4 and the "Higher Still" courses, they are keen to supply a curriculum that will serve youngsters well when they move beyond school. It is not always sold under the label of vocational education, but it undoubtedly serves that purpose well.

The traditional home economics curriculum is being changed dramatically by what is now called "hospitality and care". The future vocations are the hotel and catering industries, where there is a great need. We come from Glasgow, well served by hotels, where they cry out for manpower - and womanpower - and they are getting it from the new kinds of courses that are taught. Those courses are quite different in character from what preceded them.

The curriculum is being made more vocational. Our judgement is that the extent and the balance of it are about right, and it is carrying professionals with it as a movement. When Standard grade was created in the 1980s, a course called "social and vocational skills" was created. The most recent reports by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Schools (HMI) show that about one in three schools in Scotland deliver that. There are about 3,000 pupils per year gaining Standard grades in social and vocational skills. That side of preparation for adult working life is served by that. Looked at another way, two out of three schools are not offering that course, and to that extent there is continued HMI pressure to consider whether more moves have to be made there.

Core skills are emphasised - those are the skills that are delivered by all subjects in the comprehensive secondary. Those are steadily moving forward. In our submission, we said that intelligence given to us suggests that there will be a significant political move in the next year to try to advance that further.

Week-long industrial placements for pupils in the fourth or fifth years are generally well received. Some are enthusiastically received both ways. It is difficult for us to make an overall comment on their effectiveness. The recent HMI report said that by 1998, of the catalogue of things then tackled by youngsters of that age, modules with placements were the most popular. Placements serve pupils well in that regard. Our modest and tentative judgement would be that the balance between general education and vocational education is about right, but it is still shifting more towards vocational education than has been the case.

Prof Humes:

There are continuing challenges to the comprehensive system in Scotland. As in other countries, we face a gap between rich and poor as regards educational achievement. We have magnet schools and sink schools. We are not on the same scale as England, but England, in my view, is a very poor comparator in educational matters. We should not congratulate ourselves in comparison with English secondary education.

There are a number of reasons for that divergence. Obviously, there are issues to do with the economic state of different catchment areas and the extent to which parental choice is exercised. That has implications for other areas of social policy. It affects house prices, for instance, because of the attractions of particular areas. Houses are advertised as being in the catchment areas of certain schools. That emphasises the interrelationship of educational policy with other aspects of social policy.

With regard to the poverty question, it is interesting to note that some 20% of pupils in Scottish secondary schools are eligible for free school meals. In Glasgow, the percentage is over 40%. We continue to have a major issue of social inclusion to address in our secondary school system. Government policies are seeking to address that in various ways. One that may be of interest is the new community schools initiative, which seeks to provide, on the one site, educational provision linked to social work and health provision. It is an inter-agency approach, so that schooling is not seen in isolation. The early indications are that that is having some success, but it is rather early to judge. A number of those initiatives are still being evaluated.

One of the interesting side effects is that there are inter-professional rivalries between teachers, social workers and health workers. Professional protectionism comes into play, and it is as well to be alert to that. Another response to the question of differential performance has been, particularly in Glasgow, the setting up of specialist schools for music, dance and sport, et cetera.

The availability of these schools for people with a particular aptitude, talent or interest represents a small proportion of the total provision. Of course, an interesting logical question is whether, if that provision were made more extensive, it would actually undermine the basic comprehensive principle. It is an indication of the experimentation that is taking place in an attempt to get out of what has, perhaps, been seen as a uniform comprehensive model.

With the introduction of the "Higher Still" programme, the interface between the upper secondary school and the further education sector becomes quite challenging, because many of the "Higher Still" courses can be taken in the further education sector. The experience in some parts of England has been that senior pupils prefer to go to further education colleges rather than secondary schools, partly because of the perception that further education is more informal, more relaxed, and less concerned with control and discipline.

In Scotland, there are arrangements between some secondary schools and some further education colleges that allow pupils to be based in the school, but to go to the further education college for certain courses. As yet, provision in the further education sector has not seriously challenged the notion of the all-through comprehensive school from 11 to 18. If the pattern were to develop further, it may be that the notion of the 11-18 school, which has not been questioned for a very long time, may become an item for further scrutiny and debate.

To make a comprehensive system work, you have to take the teachers with you. That reinforces for me the importance of getting initial training and, not least, opportunities for continuing professional development right. The McCrone Report on the future of the teaching profession in Scotland was published last year. One of the major recommendations in the report was that the range of continuing professional development opportunities available to teachers should be substantially increased. We are developing a framework for such opportunities.

It will be a year or two before it is fully in place. However, it seems to me that any system contemplating major change that will impact on curriculum, on teaching and on learning methods, has to ensure that teachers are not simply presented with a fait accompli and told to adjust. There has to be plenty of scope for thinking, discussion and development, and an opportunity to try out new ways.

The Chairperson:

One of the criticisms of the comprehensive system is that it does not appear to stretch those who are more academically able. Do you have any comment on that, or does your experience indicate that that is not the case?

Prof Bryce:

One of the things that lay behind what I said about comprehensives varying a lot is a reflection of that. In other words, a stable middle-class catchment area without a loss of bright pupils to private schooling would have a wide range of ability, which the school - we can think of plenty of instances - serves well by stretching them, as well as providing a wide curriculum. The problem that you are describing arises in areas where, by the circumstances of catchment area and other alternatives, the school may be deprived of a wide range of pupils, may have to modify its curriculum and may, as a casualty of that, result in perceived non-stretching.

In our submission, we said that those who choose to opt out of the system - a very small 5% - often do so for reasons of family tradition, rather than perceptions that that will be a better education. Of course, there are instances where it will be a better education, but the evidence is not strong enough to say that there is no stretching going on.

Top of the league last year, or the year before, was a comprehensive school, as it happens, on the south side of Glasgow. It is a nice suburban area where the catchment area has changed enormously from what it was 20, 30, 40 years ago due to what has been built around about it. Once upon a time it was not an all-through six-year comprehensive school, but it now is and is serving well. There are instances to counter your fear, which need to take into account other factors - financially and, most of all, in the community.

Prof Humes:

It has been the case in the past that some pupils have not been sufficiently stretched, and that accounts for some of the concerns about S1 and S2 achievement. It is important to address that question in relation to your overall aims for secondary education. A selective system operates on the assumption that there is a limited pool of ability, and you work very hard with that limited pool and stretch them as far as possible.

A comprehensive system challenges the idea that there is a limited pool of ability. The aim of a comprehensive system is to increase the general level of achievement of all pupils. That is a big issue of social policy: what purpose are you expecting your secondary system to serve? Are you interested in a minority - an elite - who will achieve very high academic standards, perhaps at the expense of the majority who will not? Or, are you interested, either because of basic political, ideological or social beliefs, or perhaps because of the nature and needs of the economy, in pushing as many pupils as possible to a good general level of education? That is a big political decision for people like yourselves, and it is not an easy one if you are contemplating a major change.

Ms Lewsley:

How have teachers reacted to the McCrone Report? In your submission, you say that

"In short, our personal view is that teaching won't attract teachers in the numbers required as a result of this McCrone settlement."

Are there plans to offer any incentives to school leavers or graduates to enter the teaching profession? As it is, fewer males are entering the teaching profession. Can you outline the main difference in approaches to teacher training in Scotland? Is it more college-based? What about the training?

Prof Humes:

There are various routes into teaching. I will concentrate on secondary teaching. The principal route for graduates is through the one-year post-graduate course. Teachers train to qualify in one, or possibly two, subjects in the secondary school. A large part of that year is spent on placement in schools. There are usually two or three block placements - it varies slightly from one faculty of education to another. A significant part of the course is spent working with experienced teachers in schools. There are also blocks spent in university faculties or, as in one remaining case, a college of education.

The courses that are provided there have to be consistent with guidelines issued by the Scottish Executive Education Department. I understand that you have already met HM Senior Chief Inspector of Schools, Douglas Osler, so you may have heard something about it from him.

The model is essentially a competence model of training. Partly because of the age profile of the existing teaching force, we are seeking to recruit increased numbers of teachers, particularly in the primary sector, but also to some extent in the secondary sector. There is an ongoing debate about the best method of training teachers. Both Prof Bryce and myself have enjoyed robust exchanges with members of the inspectorate on the pattern that currently prevails. My own personal view is that the competence model is too narrow and prescriptive and does not encourage innovation and creativity among teachers.

The financial settlement brought about by McCrone will probably attract more good-quality teachers than we have been able to in the past, but it will depend on the professional climate in schools changing somewhat. If the continuing professional development opportunities are seen as simply going through approved hoops and conforming to the currently favoured policies, rather than giving teachers a chance to think and debate about their own professional values and ideas, there will probably be some resistance. That debate is still taking place and those of us who have an opportunity to contribute to it are certainly not allowing that opportunity to pass.

Mrs E Bell:

We came over here to look at the system here theoretically, and we have also just been to a school were we saw it in practice. We came over to see alternatives to our current system, which in primary involves a test and results of an exam that labels children as either failures or successes. We see that as something that needs to be looked at.

You said that the comprehensive system has been positively perceived, and we have been told over the last couple of days that the teachers and the inspectorate all see it as a successful system. You talked about the tensions of mixed-ability classes and the concerns about setting. Are you happy that all pupils can be equally dealt with by this system? For instance, can children with special educational needs and those with dyslexia and hearing difficulties all be accommodated within this general comprehensive system?

Prof Humes mentioned children from disadvantaged areas. We have a system called "targeting social need," which is based on free school meals, and we and the practitioners and teachers have found that it is a less than ideal rule of thumb. I am throwing all those issues in, and you have both obviously studied them, so I want to know how you both feel. Do you think that we still can learn from your system and perhaps adapt it to whatever we come up with?

Prof Humes:

I certainly do not think that we have solved all of those problems in a way that we can be satisfied with. There has been a trend towards putting children with special needs into the mainstream of the secondary system. That can work where it is well thought out and the teachers are equipped to deal with it, but there must be a fallback position. There must be an opportunity to withdraw children with any type of special needs if they are encountering difficulties. It might be a temporary withdrawal, and then a return to mainstream provision. To imagine that they can simply be put into the normal classes, without additional support and without the teachers adapting their teaching styles to meet the needs of the children, is an illusion.

We are still working through those difficulties. If we subscribe to a social inclusion principle, then we must find a way of avoiding stigmatising children, whatever grouping they belong to. One of the main arguments in favour of a comprehensive system is that it is an expression of a set of social principles, such as equality of opportunity, justice and social unity. If we really believe in those principles, we must find ways of making them work. That will involve experimenting and operating a variety of schemes. We certainly will not get it right first time. We have gone some way down the road, and we have had some success, but, for the reasons that you cite, there are still a host of educational problems to be addressed.

Prof Bryce:

A commitment to "mainstreaming" - to use the jargon - more pupils, including more pupils with special needs, in mainstream comprehensive secondary schools must be seen as probably involving differential resourcing, not uniformity. I can think of specific instances of that south of Glasgow. I can think of a particular secondary school - a very large one - that specialises in pupils with visual handicaps of all sorts. That school is specially resourced by its local authority, and is applauded for all that it does. In all the subjects, you see special apparatus and equipment that pupils use. The school is, in that sense, a magnet secondary school for pupils with those difficulties. I do not know the ins and outs of it, but it must be resourced differently from the next secondary school.

Experimentation also means other things, such as commitment to trying out different forms of relationships, for example, between existing special schools and the local secondary, if they cannot be put together in a meaningful way. It is important to look at the issue with an emphasis on diversity and variety, not to say that all schools should be for everyone in a simplistic and simplistically resourced way.

Mrs E Bell:

And so you talk about flexibility in the comprehensive system?

Prof Bryce:

Yes. Flexibility and differential resourcing to bring that about.

Mr McHugh:

During our visit we have gained a lot of knowledge to help us make up our minds about the system that would serve our needs. You mentioned social inclusion and the fact that there are areas with 40% of pupils on school meals. It is still an indicator, even though in some instances children actually refuse to go for free school meals because of the stigma attached to it. Therefore, it could be an even greater percentage than that.

We currently have a system of selection that deems that up to 70% of pupils are failures at the age of 11. That is unjust. We are working with an unfair system. We are looking for a system that will address the future needs of our children in reaching the highest levels of attainment for their future in the new workplace and also in their personal development and achievements. Can your comprehensive, all-through system work as a model for us to move towards?

Prof Humes:

I hesitate to offer our system as a model. Any educational system is deeply rooted in its own traditions, history and culture. Any system has to find its own solution to the particular problems and issues that it faces. Looking at other systems can prompt reflection and give ideas, but it is misleading to imagine that they can be transplanted directly and simply into another system. Because of all the cultural and historical forces at work, they will be transformed in the transplanting.

The introduction to your question resonates very strongly with our experience in Scotland. When we had a senior and junior secondary system, although we did not write off as many as 70%, there certainly was a perception that the junior secondary system represented failure. It was perceived as such by pupils and parents. One of the lessons of the comprehensive system is that many pupils, previously stigmatised as failures, are shown to be capable of quite significant achievements. The pattern of examination performance in Scotland reinforces that.

People have deep-rooted beliefs have about the pool of ability in a society. Our experience in Scotland has been that there is not a small, narrow pool of ability. Many more pupils are capable of significant achievement - not necessarily the highest achievement, but significant achievement - if they are given the opportunity.

Mr McHugh:

We have also learned that in some instances the levels of attainment through this system have increased threefold against the previous system. You said that it took 10 years to lead into this system. Could we move to a system in less time than that?

Prof Bryce:

Curriculum and assessment arrangements have to be taken on with school organisation, in a system sense. What you are referring to in Scotland is also about the shift from O-levels to the present Standard grades, which took a very long time. An important part of that shift was that, at the time, O-levels were tackled by 40-45% of the population. The rest were deemed to be "non-certificated". Creating Standard grades to span the whole ability range, and pegging it so that it matched in to where O-levels were for the more able children, let a system evolve.

As a result, over the past decade we have seen an increase in the number of pupils achieving Standard grades - and it is remarkably high. It is a correct boast, or claim, to say that it has been effective. What that has done is defer the decision on who is capable of getting there until later, rather than earlier. That does not make things easy at a stroke, but the later decision-making has been a key part. As long as the teaching profession was not destabilised about standards at the time when O-levels switched to Standard grades, which it was not, we then had a movement which began to work for a greater part of the population. The success story is shown in those figures.

Now to your hard question: could you do it faster than we did? I am scared of the answer to that. Things move awfully slowly in education, for really pretty good reasons.

Mr McElduff:

Thank you, Chairperson, and thanks also to Prof Bryce and Prof Humes. We are all very pleased to be here to monitor the Scottish system at first hand.

Go raibh maith agat a Chathaoirligh. Ba mhaith liom fosta mo bhuíochas a ghabháil leis an ollamh Bryce agus leis an ollamh Humes as labhairt linn. Tá áthas an domhain orm bheith anseo chun stáidear a dhéanamh ar an chóras oideachais sa tír seo.

I have two questions. First, almost 30 years after the introduction of comprehensive education here, is there a strong, vocal grammar lobby in Edinburgh or in Scotland generally? If so, how strong is it, and where sits this particular debate at the minute, if there is such a debate?

Secondly, and this may be an overstatement of a common argument against the comprehensive system - and we have seen very many positive aspects of it here - people have said that it effectively replaces apartheid by academic ability with social apartheid. That has been said - it is probably too harsh, but that is what some critics have said.

Prof Humes:

As far as I am aware, there is no real lobby in Scotland pushing for a return to a selective system. It is perhaps worth saying, however, that in Edinburgh there is a significant independent sector, the existence of which would be stoutly defended should there be any threat to it. There is no indication that there is a threat to it.

That is not to suggest that parents are entirely happy with every aspect of comprehensive education. In particular localities you would encounter criticisms, but in general there is no real campaigning group calling for the return of selective secondary schools. That is the difference between Scotland and England, where the argument about grammar schools is voiced more frequently and more forcefully.

Prof Bryce:

It is worth hanging on to the important statistic that I quoted earlier, and that is that 90% of families still send their children to their local comprehensive secondary school. That must mean that 10% choose, because of some disapproval or disliking of the immediately available comprehensive, to send their children somewhere else or to move house. Of course there is some movement of that kind. That would always apply, irrespective of the precise nature of the system. Ninety per cent is a high figure, which must surely mean that there is a large amount of contentment.

To go back to a point we opened on, there are comprehensives and there are comprehensives. They vary quite a bit, and where you to go to one in a poor, disadvantaged area with a high unemployment record, you would be upset by that, compared to one in a flourishing leafy suburb. We all are. Many of these things are beyond education alone to control, as you well know.

The Chairperson:

What is the nature of the new community schools? Have you been able to assess any of the data on their impact? Also, has the Scottish Parliament been reluctant in some way to fund these schools? I am conscious that we are in the Scottish Parliament, and I would not want to be led away by the Serjeant-at-Arms, or anything like that.

Prof Bryce:

It is genuinely too early to come to a conclusion on that. Those schools have only been in place and expanding in numbers over the last two sessions or so. They have been set up by appointing managers from different professions. For example, in one the manager may be a teacher and in another a community educator or someone from social work.

There are different attempts to glue together the work of the differing professions who share the problems. It is a new movement that will require a lot of work on professional working, which we do not know a lot about yet. That is a fair thing, and not a bad thing, to say. We do not know how inter-professional working can be put to best advantage in relation to kids' needs. We need to see that in more real settings. In other words, we need to see the 20-odd that launched it a few years ago go up into hundreds in order to know whether, when you check the model across a variety of settings, it still holds good. We need more research and more evidence. That will take a little longer.

Prof Humes:

If the evidence points to a significant success, one of the immediate implications would be the introduction of inter-professional training for teachers, so that elements of their training would take place alongside social workers, health workers and perhaps other professionals as well. It seems unreasonable to train people narrowly as teachers and then put them in a system where they are expected to engage in inter-professional co-operation.

The Chairperson:

Have you any comment on the Scottish Parliament being reluctant to fund that?

Prof Bryce:

What we meant in our submission was that we see that it will require it. We do not detect reluctance yet. We are just fearful and trying to give a push to say that it is worthy of further investment. We are making a political point of our own, and it is not a reaction to anything that we have noticed or read.

The Chairperson:

That concludes this session. Thank you.

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