If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know I have certain themes which I have touched on through-out the years. I spent 20 years at
, during that time; I was
involved in various activities which allowed me to see how education operated.
I even spent time as a part time student and also as a teacher at Glasgow University . Truth be told, I was a
better teacher than most people who earned a coin doing so. Glasgow University
One of the self evident truths is that
Scotland is a corrupt country, in
the field of education which is trumped as getting in on the basis of ability
that is clearly bullshit. Ordinary working class students struggle to get into
higher and further education. Since Scotland’s ‘jolly fat man’ Alex Salmond of
‘standing up for Scotland’ fame took office, there are 4,000 fewer teachers,
140,000 fewer people at college and 3,000 fewer children from deprived
communities in higher education.
For working class people, the route out of deprived communities is by way of the college system, not universities. The Scottish National Party, the so called party of fairness, equality and social justice has effectively closed that down.
How does that work?
It is a relatively simple concept to understand, the Scottish National Party is effectively ‘pulling the ladder up’, by doing so they are trapping generations of working class people to a lifetime of no opportunities. What the SNP should have done is split the Scottish Funding Council into two separate bodies, Scottish Funding Council (universities) and Scottish Funding Council (colleges). The university sector would be slimmed down, the college sector expanded and the introduction of new communities colleges which would take place in appropriate schools in order to teach some subjects currently covered by the normal college sector. Community colleges would be run by councils, funding streams would be provided by different bodies.
Alex Salmond and the Scottish National Party Government had 7 years to turn around failing schools, discrimination in education and cut class sizes. The tale of the tape is that Salmond’s legacy of the smiling ‘jolly fat man’ who is your ‘friend’ is entirely a sham; his record in education is as stated by others 'shameful'. Like in the Justice Department, Salmond appointed another one of his friends to be education minister; the name of that crony is Mike Russell. Russell in common with MacAskill is in need of permanent removal from Ministerial Office, for him, its one big joke, for the children, it’s a lack of achievement which they will carry through-out their lives. Opportunities curtailed by the party which laughingly claims to stand up for Scots, except they don’t.
As the Scottish Labour Party is without a leader at present, Labour in the form of MSP Jackie Baillie took to the field to tell the First Minister to take his Education Minister with him when he steps down later this month. As to the Tory demands to take schools out of local authority control, I don’t agree with this, if the SNP can’t do the job at present, how is increasing their workload going to make matters better?
Jackie Baillie used First Minister’s Questions to call for the removal of Mike Russell after asking whether the number of teachers, people attending college and youngsters from poor backgrounds attending university had increased or fallen since 2007.
As is typical, Salmond treated the parliament with contempt as he refused to answer the questions, this prompted Baillie to rattle out a few home truths, 4,000 fewer teachers, 140,000 fewer people at college and 3,000 fewer children from deprived communities in higher education.
The Scottish National Party has no interest in helping people who are working class, maybe the deluded 45% 90 minutes Nationalist rent a mob should stop and question why majority of Scots are fairing so badly!
7 years of government and things are getting worse.
As to the Tory demand, Salmond rejected taking schools out of local authority control after the Tories challenged him over an article by Keir Bloomer. He is one of the architects of the new curriculum, which has gone down like a lead balloon due to being rushed through by Mike Russell’s department, because as we know, no one has anytime to do their job properly because it is all about independence.
Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Tory leader, said Mr Bloomer had warned
schools were doing “significantly worse” in reading, maths and science. We
aren’t any better now in 2014 than we were in 2000.
But the real kicker of the epic failure to deliver; is that an official report published this week found only 3.9 per cent of pupils in the poorest areas get three A grades in their Higher exams compared with 24.2 per cent in the wealthiest communities. One of the things I have written about in the past also highlighted by the Bloomer report is that universities are making only very small improvements in recruiting poor students. They try to pass this off by saying their efforts were hampered by "low levels of school attainment".
In one year, I think the
admitted somewhere in the region of 13 people from the poorest background as
students, I don’t know about you, but I call that bullshit! University of St Andrews
Baillie told MSPs:
"The truth is there are fewer teachers giving our children the education they need, there are fewer college places for people trying to get on in life and the poorest people are less likely to go on to university under this SNP Government. He (Salmond) should be ashamed. Isn't it the case that when the First Minister leaves Bute House for the last time he should perhaps consider taking the Education Secretary with him?"
The next words out of her mouth should have been to say ‘community colleges’ to help students attain better grades.
On the stripping of colleges, the number of people attending college has dropped from 379,223 to 238,805. This was a deliberate cut by the SNP on the further education budget of £67 million which was done to maintain spending on universities.
So, working class Scots are losing out as universities which are mini fiefdoms setup satellites in foreign countries to act as a ‘cash cow’, while at home, the universities increase the number of foreign students which isn’t a new thing by any means if you are willing to take the time and do the research of the various universities Court minutes.
The poor working class Scots pushed out to make way for rich students; and the kicker on that is that the majority of working class people in this country are the ones funding higher education which their children are finding it increasingly difficult to access.
The number of children from the 40 per cent most deprived communities who attend university has dropped from 21,851 to 18,702 between the 2009/10 and 2012/13 academic years.
The Scottish National Party ‘standing up for
Scotland’, the only question is who’s Scotland?
To show the case for urgent reform, the Tories this week published a book of articles, mostly by politically impartial authors. The main problem of the Tories position in the past that their view that tuition fees should be introduced, effectively copying
England. Scots are unwilling to
accept this, but there should be a debate on why the poorest in society are
subsidising the rich from well off backgrounds while being denied an equal and
Ruth Davidson highlighted Bloomer’s warning that SNP ministers’ have a penchant for “self-congratulation”. This is true, if someone in the party does something minor, and they are part of the clique, they seem to get heralded as a visionary when in fact their contribution is minimal at best.
Case in point, the 5 pence on a plastic bag passed by the Scottish parliament!
The SNP like to cast up about the ‘wealth of talent’ in
and hark back to Scottish scientists who changed the world such as James Watt
and John Logie Baird, but we should remember that there is no one of that
calibre in the Scottish National Party.
As to unpopular Nicola Sturgeon, the so called ‘social justice campaigner’ and graduated lawyer, well she is no Professor Charles Kingsfield (that’s the name of the Harvard Lawyer Professor in the book, movie and TV series called ‘The Paper Chase’. There is no gravitas surrounding Ms. Sturgeon, quite the opposite I would suggest, she didn’t leave
to be a high flying lawyer
sought after by the top law companies around the World. Glasgow University
She ended up in Drumchapel law Centre!
While she bravely fought the good fight shuffling paper in the ‘drum’, I was teaching at
And I was brilliant!
Which is why I was able to come up with the idea for the Scottish National Police Force and National Fire Service, Ms. Sturgeon has come up with fake hair colour…… off the top of her head.
George LairdThe Campaign for Human Rights at