Tuesday, March 5, 2013

SNP Minister Mike Russell continues the ancient Scots tradition of Scottish education reforms that have 'failed the disadvantaged', every year of this SNP Government has been a fail to help the poorest children get a chance to a better life!

Dear All

Education reforms over 50 years have failed to make a significant improvement to the exam results of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

One thing you don’t have to be is a rocket scientist to work that one out, despite various reforms, fundamentally the core focus has never been on the child but rather processes in the organisations.

And children are discarded as paper is generated and hot air expelled.

Add to it, we live in a Scotland were discrimination is normal in the education sector, either deliberate or passive.

What value is education if you don’t have a future?

Does understanding better how you have been screwed help those at the bottom?

An estimated one in five school leavers has few or no qualifications and poor skills in basic literacy and numeracy.

Since the SNP has taken over the government, not a lot has changed; we have had Fiona Hyslop who was moved because things got the better of her, and then replaced by another Salmond crony, who couldn’t teach ‘how to fuck a doorknob’.

In my yoof, I did a lot of teaching at Glasgow University, week in, week out, year in, year out, I was brilliant at my subject, and those who I taught we consider the elite of the university among their peers!

Anyway, I do know a bit, the Commission on School Reform says many changes had an inadequate impact for children. Various things have been tried, such as raising the school leaving age, the launch of Standard Grade exams and comprehensive schools.

But all of it is piecemeal stuff, add on that doesn’t build a custom education for the child.

Councillor Douglas Chapman, education spokesperson for the umbrella body for local councils, Cosla, said they had a proud record for running schools.

He said:

"We are not complacent and we are willing to listen to views on how system can be improved further but only if they are well thought out. Sadly, too many reports like this have in the past treated schools like isolated 'islands of learning', drawing the false conclusion that more school autonomy is the panacea for all the challenges we face”.


"Local authorities provide flexibility and autonomy for schools but within an overall framework which supports and challenges schools to continue to improve. We also have a track record of encouraging innovation in the teaching profession, a point we made during the McCormac review into teacher employment."

It seems that rather than face the problem, Councillor Chapman thinks that rhetoric and arse covering somehow explains away 50 years of failure.

The bottom line is that no school in a disadvantaged area has ever matched the performance of a school in a more affluent area according to the new report.

SNP Politicians are pretty good at turning up to give speeches at Schools, Colleges and Universities when it is something good that can raise their profile and bask in the success of others.

What you are not seeing is the Education Sec turning up at a failing school with a vision to change that School round so that the pupils get the life chances they need.

Mike Russell has been a failure as an Education Sec, appointed because he is Salmond’s crony, you could argue from the SNP side that he is doing a ‘good’ job but facts, the hard currency of politics show otherwise.

It is time for a new idea, new vision and a new direction, Community Colleges run by councils in the existing school estates. This idea would provide additional help for pupils to get extra help in subjects that they are weak, it could also be tied in with volunteering from Colleges and Universities so that student teachers can get more trigger time in the field.

This done correctly could lift those at the bottom up improve their chances in life, we don’t live in a country that is fair and just, we live in a country that is corrupt.

We live in a country run by Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon, who have run out of time, run out of ideas, and run out vision, if they ever had any.

I spent 20 years at Glasgow University, reading, writing and teaching, which in part explains why it takes me minutes to solve problems such as this that Mike Russell and the SNP Government couldn’t manage since 2007.

Every year since 2007, Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon and Mike Russell have failed the poorest in society that now includes Scottish children.

When people have no future, there is no tomorrow!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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