Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Be proud no longer, Literacy levels fall through the floor among Scottish pupils as John Swinney’s joins the line of totally unsuccessful SNP Education Ministers who have failed to turn round Scottish education, giving up the ‘day job’ to be campaigning for independence is leaving generations of working class Scots destine for no bright future and the scrapheap, this is the SNP’s legacy to Scotland

Dear All

In the past, it was rightly said with some pride that a ‘Scottish’ education was a good one to have, the standard was said to be high.

In modern Scotland, the same cannot be said to be true anymore, after a decade of SNP failure in education, we have seen literacy levels drop among Scots pupils. The most important thing that a country can do is heavily invest in the future of its young people. A short term measure to bring in skilled people can to make up a shortfall in certain areas but educating your people is essential.

Scotland hasn’t been educating our young people successfully, particularly with regard to opportunities for the working class.  The SNP have abandoned the concept of an educated Scottish work force in preference for an increase in immigration.

This policy effectively creates a glass ceiling which traps many working class Scots in poverty!

This is the reality of SNP Government, Nicola Sturgeon and the senior leadership have destroyed our education by stupidity and partly by design. The sad thing about the demise of our education is the loss of so much potential and hope for many young people. Too many people have bought into the lie that the SNP stands up for Scotland and that they are doing a good job, the reality is that the SNP have done and incredibly bad job in many areas.

Some people have been robbed of a future entirely, they don’t know it yet, but they have already been earmarked for the scrapheap, they won’t be getting a chance now or in the future. Scotland a country in political flux is folding in on itself, we are on a road not to independence but to division.

Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon’s legacy isn’t a better tomorrow but a legacy of hate.

To be in a country where reading and writing standards among younger pupils in Scotland have fallen is remarkably third world. Where are the once proud Scots who could stand up with pride and boast about the value of a Scottish education?

These days, there is nothing to boost about, nothing at all.

What Scotland needs is a reformed education system which drives forward attainment, which provides the necessary support so that pupils who haven’t done well can get the help they need to pull them up to a standard which offers them life choices. Life choices are important, so many have had their chances taken away. Right across the board through-out the education system, many pupils have been failed. The writing performance of young people in the second year of secondary and the final year of Primary fell between 2012 and 2016. These are the facts, according to the latest Scottish Survey for Literacy and Numeracy.

The biggest success of the SNP in government has been failure in all areas of their responsibility and convincing a public that the blame lies elsewhere, other than where it should, at their door. In one sense Scottish Labour losing so badly will leave the SNP with no ‘cover’ now. Not that will be any comfort for Scottish Labour, they are finding out as well that their abilities have been shown up as lacking, no political party can do without an educated activist base, this doesn’t mean spoon fed propaganda but people who are versed in factual knowledge.

ducation Secretary John Swinney admitted the findings are "not good enough", this is an example of him trying to put across that a smokescreen that the subtext is underneath things are ‘good enough’ but they can be better than good. The reality is that Scottish education standards are bad, and John Swinney who spends the bulk of his time in another portfolio is unable to turn around education.

John Swinney has no business in education much like Shona Robison has no business being health minister; both are out of their depth. It doesn’t take an education or health expert to see why.

Although opponents have branded the results “shameful” and accused the nationalists of neglecting education to focus on another referendum which is true, they also must shoulder part of the blame as an opposition.

Where were the private members bills for education reform?

If you don’t know, I will enlighten you, they never existed…. Ever!

Swinney says:

"I want to see standards and attainment improving in Scottish education."

Is this a hope or is this an aspiration, this bland sentence by him is why he has no business in education, he should be saying I will drive up education standards but the reality is tinkering at the edges does not a plan make.

Remember my old posts on reform?

I have done a whole host of postings which highlight the need for a new entire system, four tier education which introduces, a new insert of education provision, ‘community colleges’ run out of schools and funded by various streams of local, national and business. Community Colleges would provide additional education provision to various segments of society. Just as people of all ages, and sex attend a sports centre to get fit, community colleges would be geared to getting people ‘educational fit’. The good thing is that people attended would have the desire to learn to better themselves after some have had a shaky start in education.

Nicola Sturgeon has insisted education is her main priority in office, the facts show that if this is indeed her main priority should realise that she needs to outsource for ideas because let’s face it, there isn’t any big ideas in the Scottish National Party.

The SNP have allowed self interest in their chase for independence to cloud judgment, they have left a whole generation of kids and adults to flounder because they cannot get the help they need. In my youth, I taught at university, although I was a fitness instructor/ personal trainer etc etc, my pupils were the ‘elite’ of the university gym, they were just trained up to learn fitness, they were taught to be instructors in their own right. One day, I passed on a guy who wanted to learn a technique to one of my female students, afterwards he came back to thank me, not only had he learned the exercise he had learned something unexpected, the value of tuition. The girl was one of my first generation students, personally taught by me to think, analyse and impart knowledge which made a person question.

Years later the University tried to bring forward the same concept through their graduate teaching assistant programme but it never took off, they had never learned the subject in the first place, which is why my students were a port of call for information. One of the stories which I always thought funny was when a PhD student, international runner on the university graduate teaching assistant programme asked a female student, ‘why do you go to George Laird to get taught weight training’, she replied ‘because he is like a proper instructor’. In fact, it was more than that, I was very good but as well as that my teaching was taking someone on a journey to learn together, so they knew at each step of the way, they could be sure that at the end, they knew all their learning outcomes.

The education system of Scotland will not be fixed by John Swinney’s ‘reform’ programme because John Swinney doesn’t know beyond the sound bites prepared for him what the hell he is talking about. And if you don’t know what the hell you are talking about you cannot fix anything let alone make improvements.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


Freddy said...

no surprise there George chickens coming home to roost and noone else to blame either expect a selfie in a classrooom with some new scheme soonish :)

Auld Jock said...

Hello George

I agree that the snp record in government is appalling. As you know I am not good at political analysis. However, I did hear one of the TV commentators say, last night, that the snp share of the vote had shrunk to 32%. Do you agree with that? If so, how big a fall in support for the snp is that? Do you see clear evidence that the snp have peaked and are now headed down the other side of the hill?

Auld Jock

G Laird said...

Hi Auld Jock

“I agree that the snp record in government is appalling. As you know I am not good at political analysis. However, I did hear one of the TV commentators say, last night, that the snp share of the vote had shrunk to 32%. Do you agree with that? If so, how big a fall in support for the snp is that?”

The plain answer is that now, some seats that the SNP currently hold are under threat, however, from the Labour point of view, and this is them saying this, so there is a bias, they are saying that they could win Glasgow South West and Glasgow East.

I came across the Evening Times article which says that Labour thinks it can win Glasgow South West and Glasgow East. The Pollok Labour campaign for Holyrood wasn’t great, in fact many commented that it was a ‘shambles’ but I already knew that despite the handicap I did offer suggestions to try and get things done better.

In the main, no one really came to help out of in Pollok CLP circa 230 people which surprised me at the start but not at the end. In the last week, the cllrs obviously were ordered out so they turned up and they did a few street stalls at Govan earlier on as well in the campaign but help wasn't really forthcoming.

Given there was a lack of help, and in 2015, I was told Ian Davidosn had to pay four people to help him out, there is a history of non activism in Pollok Labour CLP. I have commented on the CLP is effectively a shell. So for James Kelly to say Glasgow South West is possible after they lost in 2015 and went from 20k to 13k in votes is beyond me.

The SNP MP does work very hard, albeit in his own self interest. I know this as a fact.
The candidate for Labour is Matt Kerr, he wasn't really active for Lamont in a meaningful way, so given all this, and my experience of the anti Labour vote in Pollok, I wonder what methodology was used to work out that a return is possible.

Prior to 2015, the SNP in this area were pegged around the 5K mark with Labour routinely getting around 20k. Then the World turned and the collapse happened for Labour. If there was some evidence of a change in the area, I would have seen it, many people said to me at the polling station they couldn’t bring themselves to vote Labour. A friend over in Ballieston didn’t vote at all as the Labour candidate never attended any hustings, his wife apparently attended them all.

Tells you a story?

“Do you see clear evidence that the snp have peaked and are now headed down the other side of the hill?”

The SNP have peaked, but that doesn’t translate into a return for Labour, but in could spell more success for the Conservatives in their rural target areas and possible in East Renfrewshire. The Tories had a solid 15k vote there in 2010 and I believe in the previous election. Then it dropped to 10k. I see a chance for them to get the seat as the area returned Jackson Carlaw but….. Holyrood votes generally are lower which you know already. Westminster is still seen as the ‘big’ election.

At present, resting up, haven’t came down to a decision on who to campaign for, I am a free agent, Labour forced me to stand as an independent so I am not in a rush to volunteer for them. And certainly not without an agreement in writing, in 2016 after being promised a ticket to the Glasgow count, Johann Lamont renege on a promise to me. I wasn’t angry but she cut off her nose to spite her face, I will not be offering her my services for free if she stands in Pollok again. Her act was deliberate not accidental as I said not angry, however gave her a chance to do right thing, history has been written, and unluckily for her, I don’t forget or forgive.

Not when it was done to me deliberately.


Auld Jock said...

Hello George

Thanks for that. I am encouraged by what you say. The more I read your blogs, the more I realise that politics, at least to me, are fiendishly complex.

Auld Jock

Anonymous said...

SECONDED Auld Jock , thank Christ for Mr Laird

Al C said...

Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. This literacy was what the nats were trumpeting originally, but now they've buggered it up. And they say the Tories are bad!

Aldo said...

I'm a teacher. The Curriculum for Excellence (so called) is entirely to blame. No assessment, no rigor, no rote learning, fewer external exams at the senior phase. It's an absolute unmitigated disaster. Originally the brainchild of the Lib/Lab coalition, the SNP have persisted with it for over a decade when it should have been scrapped on day 1.

Aldo said...

Corbyn manifesto to promise renationalisation of energy, rail and the post office as well as free tuition in England and Wales. Might some of the far left in Glasgow be tempted back to Labour by this offer?

G Laird said...

Hi Aldo

People will look at the offer and see what is in it for them. I would say after listening to Jeremy Corbyn being questioned on Brexit, and would he has PM take us out the EU, he didn't answer.

Asked directly about 6 or 7 times.

I think he has made a rod for his own back.