Archive for the Social Issues Category

Pros and cons of the selective generation

Pros and cons of the selective generation

I left Paisley Grammar in 1969. In June, more than 40 of us celebrated that anniversary. Animated conversations, photographs and school magazines stirred memories but also illuminated the experiences which had made us, the last selective generation, the people we are. With (nominal) fees, higher entrance qualifications and […]

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Bursaries bail out selective schools

I was recently approached by an inspiring individual with an admirable record in Scottish education of supporting schools, especially in areas of poverty and social and educational failure. His aim was to develop, among their young people, assertive, ambitious leaders with strong ethical commitments. He had, in […]

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Pupils at greater risk than ever

Pupils at greater risk than ever

A recent Edinburgh City Council report, Organisational Review of Support to Children and Young People’s Service, highlighted major problems facing Edinburgh, which are replicated, to varying degrees, across Scotland. Significant budget pressures were identified. In 2007, there was a Pounds 500,000 overspend on Working Together, which finances […]

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I want to wave my magic wand

A few weeks ago I met four sixth year students at one of Edinburgh’s most prestigious private schools, one which, despite my reservations about private schooling, I admire enormously.  The purpose was an evaluation of their course choice experience.  We were told they were representative of their […]

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We are making progress to a kinder, more tolerant Scotland

Brian Fitzpatrick’s thoughtful piece (8 March 2012) was a welcome rebuttal of the intemperate comments of Cardinal O’Brien. I liked his description of the broad Catholic consensus for ‘tolerance on social issues’.  My hunch is that his description is likely accurate although it is a broad consensus with […]

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In search of faith, hope and love

In search of faith, hope and love

In the same week as Tony Blair met representatives of the Scottish business community and heard their perceptions of Scottish education, and the widening gap between the rich and poor was reported (and derided by the Prime Minister), Norman Drummond addressed the issue of journeying towards a […]

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Let’s hold on to family values

Let’s hold on to family values

It was a wet, windy, December Monday. Perhaps that, perhaps the passing years, but as I listened to the news, I found myself, amazingly, identifying with former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith. He reminded me that children from a broken home are twice as likely to have […]

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Why abusers are still priests

Why abusers are still priests

Why abusers are still priests The Catholic church fears acutely the indignity of a priest in the dock for child abuse During the second television election debate, the issue of the forthcoming Papal visit was discussed. All three leaders stated that they disagreed with the Pope on […]

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No capital. No cool.

No capital. No cool.

No capital. No cool Carol Craig stands out in contemporary Scotland. She has analysed Scotland’s crisis of confidence and roundly condemned the various theories which attribute personal or social deficits to a lack of self-esteem. She is sceptical about the marketing of Glasgow as the post-industrial ‘Capital […]

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Scotland’s folk hero: Hamish Henderson

Scotland’s folk hero: Hamish Henderson

‘Poetry Becomes People’, the second volume of Timothy Neat’s biography of Hamish Henderson (Polygon Books, £25), completes the life of one of modern Scotland’s architects. The first volume, ‘The Making of the Poet’, (reviewed in Scottish Review, 6 January 2009) ends with Henderson starting his career as […]

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    INTRODUCTION I was approached by a student in one of my classes who believed that...

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