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Swinney’s magical mystery tour in education

‘As Paasi Sahlberg, the apostle of the Finnish education miracle, recently put it, Scotland’s system is “knocking on heaven’s door” – not quite paradise but within sight.’ Analysis of the tasks ahead for John Swinney….and the need for a balanced approach to testing.


A toothless Holyrood and nobody cares

“The implicit argument that the Scottish Parliament would be just as crap in an independent Scotland as it is now and almost no-one cares is poor. Or, to put it in terms of the standard of partisan debate on twitter: shitey whataboutery might make you feel good in a tweet, but it won’t win you any votes in the next referendum.”



Defining the centre of the world

The Olympics are not going to disappear anytime soon, but they risk becoming unsustainable in a world facing climate change, rising inequality, corporate corruption and growing anger among those left behind by globalisation. And until that day comes, we are perhaps best investing our legacy in smaller pots. Like Perth, the new wannabe city of culture.


EIF: greatest arts show on earth

The Edinburgh Festival is upon us again, a three-week spectacular that turns the Scottish capital into the biggest arts destination on the planet. It is in fact a number of different festivals, with the leading Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe returning for a 70th year since their inception in 1947. From thousands of […]

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Mr Demarco, networking genius, art supremo

(Richard) “Demarco has long seen it as his role to ensure Scotland maintained its connections with Europe, having originally been inspired by the divisions that scarred the continent following World War II…He sought to highlight his kind of shared cultural heritage and saw the arts as a way of uniting the continent.”

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Schools: ending poverty and poor performance

Deprivation and poor school performance go together – and have done for generations. If the First Minister truly wanted to start to end this perennial blight on Scotland she would have put John Swinney in charge of equality, not his feckless predecessor Angela Constance.

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