Personal support and excellence: parallel lines?

David J. McLaren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the laudable aims and intentions of the Curriculum for Excellence, there is continuing uncertainty as to the role and function of Personal Support which has been effectively marginalised. Rather than emphasising its crucial role in underpinning and driving the four capacities, the Curriculum for Excellence currently seems ill at ease with Personal Support and its place in the new framework and there is a lack of any clear vision in terms of philosophy and structure. It is argued here that this policy vacuum and lack of direction is an inevitable result of three parallel and unconnected ‘approaches’ or ways of thinking which might be characterised thus:
-the ‘Standards’ approach, based on the recent National Review of Guidance
-the ‘Curriculum-building’ approach, based on a recent series of curricular policy
documents produced by the Scottish Government
-the ‘Excellence’ approach, based on documentation produced by HM
Inspectorate of Education The paper will further argue that there is a pressing need for clarity of vision and of purpose.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-47
Number of pages11
JournalScottish Educational Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


  • curriculum for excellence
  • personal support
  • policy

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