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Last Updated: Sunday, 31 October, 2004, 09:17 GMT
Schools shake-up plan rubbished
Exam - generic
Learning will be better suited to pupils' needs, under new plans
Opponents have slated plans by ministers for a wide-ranging overhaul of education.

It is being described as the most comprehensive modernisation programme for Scottish schools in a generation.

Plans being outlined by Education Minister Peter Peacock on Monday will include a "new look curriculum."

But Conservative education spokesman Lord James Douglas-Hamilton attacked the reforms as "phoney" and lacking in choice for youngsters.

He said: "Until the pupils can choose the schools rather than the schools choosing the pupils - as at present - we will never be able to offer true choice that our children deserve."

Mr Peacock said: "The reforms I will unveil are the most far-reaching in our schools for a generation and good leadership is needed to make them work.

'Mediocre' schools

"Those with the drive and ambition to deliver change will be given all the help and support they need."

Head teachers are being sent back to school for lessons in leadership at a new national academy, set up with the aim of supporting their role.

The minister said strong leadership would lift schools out of "mediocrity".

Under the new measures all teachers will get more freedom within a framework of continued support from local authorities.

In particular, head teachers will be allowed to decide what learning needs best suit their pupils.

Pupils will be given wider subject choice and more time to do well in their best subjects.

Proposals are expected to recommend that learning is focused on achieving a clear set of broad outcomes for young people leaving school, in the first single curriculum for three to 18-year-olds.

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