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Commission on School Reform highlights role of librarians

The interim report of the Commission on School Reform (CSR) has reflected views of SLIC in a recent submission. These include the importance of librarians in promoting early literacy and in early intervention.

The CSR also commented: "While Curriculum for Excellence was supported in submissions, sometimes strongly, there were concerns expressed that the focus on interdisciplinary enquiry needs to take more account of the skills and knowledge learners might need to carry out such enquiries with effect. Librarians could be expected to have a major role in supporting the design and delivery of such enquiries which would, of course, not have to be undertaken in the traditional setting of the school but in more virtual settings and with peers drawn from a variety of contexts, nationally and internationally."

Think tanks Reform Scotland and the Centre for Scottish Public Policy set up the Commission on School Reform in November 2011 to consider whether the school system in Scotland is meeting the present and future needs of young people, and to make specific recommendations for improvement. The interim report’s overall conclusion is that whilst Curriculum for Excellence is seen as a step in the right direction, more must be done to improve the outcomes of our education system.

Challenging the current system, the interim report states: "There was a desire expressed in some submissions to see the deliberate and systematic development of a range of alternative delivery systems which did not depend on the school, as traditionally conceived and operated, as the sole context for young people’s learning. The development and management of at least some aspects of such systems may provide school and other librarians with an extension of their role in supporting young people’s learning."

The final section looks at the outcomes which could be expected of children and young people’s education and there are a number of interesting suggestions listed in the report. The CSR will continue its work, issuing a final report in late 2012.

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