Archive for the Scotland Category

Thresholds – Roddy Simpson

Thresholds is a series of lyrical, black and white photographs, taken between 1994 and the present, by Roddy Simpson, a photographer, photo-historian, writer and lecturer who lives in Linlithgow. His engagement with, and exploration of, place, means the locations stretch from his home area of Linlithgow across Scotland, […]

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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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Nature’s Peace, a Celebration of Scotland’s Watershed

Nature’s Peace, a Celebration of Scotland’s Watershed

Scotland is traditionally divided into north and south, Highland and Lowland, but Peter Wright’s ambitious works, Ribbon of Wildness and Walking with Wildness offered another perspective, an east-west divide based on the watershed. From Carter Bar to Cape Wrath, the watershed creates a line dividing the waters flowing eastwards into the […]

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Witness of our damaged souls

Witness of our damaged souls

Glen Lyon Kenneth Steven Birlinn, £7.99 The first novel by poet, translator, short story writer and children’s author, Kenneth Steven opens ambiguously.   Somerled Stewart arrives in an isolated Highland glen, fashions a primitive shelter, and ultimately a farm, with an axe, his one possession.   No land-owner seems to […]

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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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We must not be afraid to ask the dangerous questions

We must not be afraid to ask the dangerous questions

A new year is underway, but our education system still refuses to ask the most important, and most dangerous, questions. We need to re-engage with the big issues, says Alex Wood. Nothing comes close to the wonderful buzz which committed teachers feel when they see new first […]

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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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After Flodden – by Rosemary Goring: review

After Flodden – by Rosemary Goring: review

FEW events have had such a debilitating impact on Scotland as Flodden. The debacle in 1513 reversed the process started by Bannockburn and may, along with the Reformation, have made the Unions, of 1603 and 1707, inevitable. Four centuries later, a novel based on that military catastrophe […]

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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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