International Education

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 10:29 am on 24th April 2008.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Elizabeth Smith Elizabeth Smith Conservative 10:29 am, 24th April 2008

I leave it to Mr Macintosh to defend his amendment. The key point is that it should be up to headteachers to decide the best extracurricular and core curricular items for their pupils.

On a day on which we have considered the Scottish qualifications system, the other key point of interest at this stage is consideration of a worthy debate on the baccalaureate system. Today, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning made a firm commitment on a Scottish baccalaureate; she will explain the details of what will happen in S5 and S6 later. Perhaps there could be a worthy debate on the international baccalaureate. Many of the things that underlie the principles behind the curriculum for excellence are developed in the examination system for that baccalaureate, which has clearly taken on board exactly what the Government is trying to say in this debate. The Government ought to consider that.

Internationalism has always been at the centre of Scottish education, and I am sure that no member hopes that it will not be in the future. We have no intention of opposing the Government's motion, but we object to the fact that it has taken time away from debating other, more pressing, educational issues. However, international education is important, so we will support the motion.