The SNP needs a real change in direction - and a more focussed approach to arguing the case for independence. We need to reach out to a much wider audience and stop relying on the Scottish Parliament as the sole focus of our campaigning. It is one of the most important tools we have but cannot be the be-all and end-all of the independence argument.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Scottish Education

Today's Times Education Supplement carries a story about the views the various leadership candidates have regarding Scottish education.  My comments to the TES are reproduced here.
Some of what I said has particular relevance given today's reported row from North Lanarkshire about the 'shared campus' arrangements on offer from the local Council.  I believe strongly that we should be able to encourage true diversity in our education system instead of trying to insist that there only be one model for a school within the state system. 

"Scottish education is being failed by a lack of ambition.  We could, if we so desired, ensure that real choice was available within the state system.  Not just a continued support for Catholic schooling and for Gaelic medium education, but a recognition that the same ideal can be offered to other communities across Scotland where there is a substantial demand.  We should also highlight the importance of rural schools and ensure that they do not come under needless threat.

The education system needs to be less bureaucratic – providing more freedom within the system and a greater ability afforded to teachers to do the teaching that is needed rather than the form filling and box ticking which currently seems such a priority.

That is a development that I believe Scottish teachers would welcome.  As they would a reduction in class sizes.  Of course, in order to achieve that, there needs to be a real focus on training and recruitment of teachers, many of whom are taking the early retirement option rather than continue in a job which is no longer what they want to do. 

Much was promised by the McCrone agreement, but the delivery of that agreement has been hampered by the inability of local councils to ensure that it is implemented properly.  Problems at the probationary level continue.  This means that tackling the recruitment crisis is not easy – but unless we do, we will find that efforts to improve education in Scotland will be thwarted.

But improve we must.  There are still profoundly disturbing differences in attainment levels being reached by schools dependent on their socio-economic catchment area.  Such differences ought not to be tolerated in modern Scotland.  Clearly, tackling poverty levels will have a major effect on future education prospects – but we can't afford to write off the current generation of children trapped by circumstance of birth.

That means tackling the issue early in the education system – right at the level of pre-school education.  We should be adopting an integrated approach to early years' services, while recognising that children make more progress where staff are well qualified. 

It also means using the education system to better the prospects of the next generation by ensuring that in school at least they are provided with balanced school meals and opportunities to develop their health and well being.

By these means, we can help repair the damage done to our education system over the years and begin to restore confidence in a public service that was once a byword for excellence."


  • At 15 August 2005 at 20:04, Blogger JAMES said…


    What has become the proving ground of sorts,is the world at large,the nations with little,no,educational offerings, stay in a state of auld yesterday,so any and all education
    policies move people progressively

    Also what is taught must appeal to the students, so a vast variety of sujects must be employed,reminding the world has access to our assets

    Knowledge is the only weapon a WAR tyrant will not share,WHY ?,.THINK

    Scotland must educate, in order to survive,a smaller nations SECURITY
    james mc callum
    pobox 3402
    ma 02361

  • At 28 December 2005 at 21:56, Blogger Amon said…

    Well done on a nice blog Roseanna Cunningham MSP. I was searching for information on stock option trading and came across your post Scottish Education - not quite what I was looking for related to stock option trading but very interesting all the same!

    Well, Christmas is over and we're all getting ready for the new years and there aren't many trading days left. Although I'm still trying to grapple with where the dollar's headed next year. My feeling is that it's going to be much the same as this - all over the place, but possibly on the ascendant over the year, mainly due the instability in the Eurozone. And as for stocks, I think the safest thing is to stick to trading the indices. There's still too much downward pressure.

    If you do have a moment, please take a look at my new site on: Option Trading .

    A merry Christmas to you and yours! Amon


Post a Comment

<< Home