Fury at Minister's Move to Let Pupils Set Their Own Goals

Article excerpt

Byline: ISABEL OAKESHOTT

EDUCATION Minister Jack McConnell was at the centre of a new row yesterday over plans to let primary school children set their own educational targets.

He wants youngsters to have more say in what they hope to achieve during the academic year in the hope that the move will encourage them to take greater pride in their work.

But critics described the scheme as misconceived, arguing that primary school children were not mature enough to make such decisions.

Mr McConnell revealed the plan yesterday during a discussion about reforms to national testing in primary schools. He intends to give parents and teachers clearer information about their children's progress and believes people are most successful if they can help set their own goals.

He said: 'There is no reason why even quite young children couldn't say, "The things I want to achieve are ..." then work towards that.' Last night, the Scottish Executive described the idea as Mr McConnell's 'personal view' and stressed that the initiative was at a very early stage.

However, officials have already sounded out parents and teachers, and detailed proposals are likely soon.

Mr McConnell's suggestion is the latest evidence that education chiefs are pursuing a different educational agenda from Whitehall colleagues. …