Sunday Column: The SNP have failed Scotland's education system yet again

Updated: Jul 8, 2020


By Derek W Gardiner

As if it wasn't enough that Scotland's literacy and numeracy rates are in free-fall, the SNP had to go ahead and make things worse by announcing that schools will continue on a part time basis for another year.


While John Swinney has said that he plans to hold exams next year, after cancelling them for the first time since national exams were introduced in 1888, the general secretary of the EIS, Scotland's biggest teaching union has said that exams could be cancelled again next year, this is utterly unacceptable. It has also been suggested that school pupils may only receive one or two days of face-to-face teaching for the next academic year, again, unacceptable. Chris McGovern, Chairman of the National Campaign for Education said to the Sunday Times "There is a huge risk that the life chances of the poorest 20% will be permanently damaged and that kids at the bottom of the pile will be left on the educational scrap heap".


According to the education secretary this is because he expects social distancing measures to remain in place "for some time to come" but it's time we started asking Why? Evidence shows that the risk of Corona virus to children is minimal and keeping them all two metres apart will make schooling virtually impossible. This is one of the reasons why the two metre rule is being reviewed by the UK government and will most likely be reduced to one metre next week. New daily cases of the corona-virus in Scotland are now at around 18 and deaths are on most days in single figures, with any luck we will see no new cases and deaths within the next few weeks. But as always Nicola Sturgeon in her desire to be different from England will keep social distancing at two metres, even when the virus is gone and it will be the education of the very children and young people who will suffer most economically as a result of the lockdown, that will be sold down the river.


Mass protests took place in Aberdeen on Saturday

Meanwhile the SNP don't seem to have a problem with large crowds gathering in mass protests, such as this one in Aberdeen yesterday, potentially leading to the very "super-spreader" events they have been constantly warning us about.


It's time for the Scottish Conservative leadership to show some backbone and call Sturgeon out on this disgraceful record. All Jackson Carlaw has talked about at First Minister's questions over the past six weeks is testing in care homes.


It's time for him to start asking Sturgeon the difficult questions about why our education system needs to be decimated for another year and why these mass protests are being allowed to go ahead at the same time.


Nigel Farage's exit from LBC shows the increasing polarisation of the country.



For the past three and half years I have tuned into the Nigel Farage Show on LBC almost every night. For me and many others, it was one of the highlights of LBC, so I was shocked to hear that Mr Farage had left LBC on Thursday with immediate affect. It seemed as though he was pushed rather than left of his own accord in a move designed to appease the hard left.


However, Nigel Farage was not the only show I listened to. There was a good line up of presenters; from Nick Ferrari on the right, Maajid Nawaz in the centre and even James O'Brien on the left. But I found Mr O'Brien's gloating on twitter after he heard of Farage's sacking to be totally undignified.


As a result I will no longer be tuning into LBC, they are turning into an echo chamber, it seems we are descending into a place where reasoned debate based on evidence is not allowed instead we are all guided by our feelings and emotions and that is never a good place for a society to be.