§ Mr. Fairbairn
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has introduced or considered introducing simplified integrated modular prose system into the Scottish education system.
§ Mr. Alexander Fletcher
I fully support the aim of improving standards of English prose in schools and in publications of my Department. A major research project to investigate standards and ways of improving writing skills of pupils in S3 and S4 levels of secondary schools is being carried out by the Scottish council for research in education. A foundation level course in English to improve writing and other skills of less able pupils is being tested in schools as part of the Munn and Dunning development programme. The consultative committee on the curriculum has also looked carefully at the language skills of both primary and secondary pupils.
I acknowledge the concern expressed in the Scottish Grand Committee debate on 7 February about the complexity of language used in our document "16–18s in Scotland—An Action Plan". The document was mainly intended for educational interests and has been well received, but I shall bear in mind the need for clear language in future publications.