Archive for the Politics Category

Education a key battleground in debate on Scottish independence

Education a key battleground in debate on Scottish independence

The Scottish and English education systems have always been separate. Knox’s aim of a school in every parish was never comprehensively achieved but the concept of education accessible to all children irrespective of family wealth has long been part of the Scottish educational tradition. Scottish universities were […]

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The long road from Ibrox to Brechin

The long road from Ibrox to Brechin

The following piece appears as a chapter in Alan Bissett’s and Alasdair McKillop’s excellent collection of essays, ‘Born Under a Union Flag’, published by Luath. The book explores cultural and religious identity in Scotland, how these identities relate to football and their impact on the current constitutional […]

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A licence to teach

It’s again time for Scottish educationalists to peep over the Border, this time at Tristram Hunt and Anthony Seldon. Teachers should be licensed and could be sacked if they fail tough professional checks, asserted Hunt, Labour’s Westminster education spokesperson. “Just like lawyers and doctors they should have […]

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Tools of the trade

Tools of the trade

We need to keep our eyes on educational developments in England, to watch, analyse and learn. In April the Governors of Pimlico Primary, a newly established ‘free school’ in Westminster, appointed a new headteacher.  Annaliese Briggs was appointed as the head while still studying for her postgraduate […]

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Road to the Referendum: adult classes

New term, new adult classes, and this term I’m leading a new (and exciting class) at Wester Hailes on Wednesdays and at Royston Wardieburn on , ROAD TO THE REFERENDUM. These courses will identify, discuss and debate the big issues which will shape attitudes in Scotland as […]

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The minister answers

The minister answers

When former headteacher and SecEd editorial board member Alex Wood met Scotland’s cabinet secretary for education, topics for discussion ranged from the Curriculum for Excellence and wellbeing to inspection and recruiting new school leaders. 

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The North End of the Possible by Andrew Philip: review

The North End of the Possible by Andrew Philip: review

Linlithgow-based poet, Andrew Philip, was much praised for his first collection, ‘The Ambulance Box’.  His second collection, ‘The North End of the Possible’, (Salt, £12.99 RRP) is a powerful volume of verse which subtly shakes any residual complacency from the reader. 

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Tackling the poverty gap

Tackling the poverty gap

Reducing the attainment gap and addressing the inequity in Scottish education was the topic of a recent lecture delivered by Mike Russell, Scotland’s cabinet secretary for education, at Glasgow University. His underlying argument was that only independence will secure these objectives. He focused on the impact of poverty on […]

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The vanished Scotland of Matt McGinn

The vanished Scotland of Matt McGinn

Last week I attended a tribute concert to Matt McGinn. It was the 13th year that Linlithgow Folk Festival has started its year with a fundraiser based on McGinn’s music. Several of the Scottish folk scene’s well-established singers and groups joined local talent to entertain a packed […]

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How my friend Alistair Darling and I went our separate ways

How my friend Alistair  Darling and I went  our separate ways

Alistair Darling spoke recently at the Linlithgow Book Festival about ‘Back from the Brink’ (Atlantic Books, £19.99), his account of the banking crisis and its consequences.

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