Carol Craig finds reasons for hope in an upsurge of Scottish grassroots activism and cross-party collaboration. It offers a chance of rebuilding local democracy – as long as it remains free to challenge central government.
‘The problems now inherent in Scottish education, both falling standards and the attainment gap, are cultural not just structural. Significant progress can only be made with real attempts to alleviate poverty and a genuine alliance of people and organisations across Scotland committed to significant change’.
‘The fact that young children and adolescents were not only punished for gross disobedience but also minor misdemeanours and errors in schoolwork is, to my mind, unforgivable.’
‘(McGarvey’s) aware that many on the left will see this as a cop out but he’s ready with his reply. Of course, the left must continue to argue and campaign for structural change, he tells us, but no real change can happen unless poor people begin to feel powerful in their own lives.
So much of McGarvey’s analysis comes from personal experience, not from theories and books…it has a freshness which reminds me of early Enlightenment thinkers: Carol Craig reviews Poverty Safari
‘The success of Resilience in Scotland has not just taken the tour’s organisers by surprise. As no other country has engaged with the film in the way that Scotland has the filmmakers are also intrigued. It’s certainly worth trying to understand why the film has such resonance for us. Resilience is a great educational resource and is opening many Scots eyes to the source of our health problems and what has literally been ‘hiding in plain sight’.
‘Given all this why is it that over 9 million adults in the UK say they feel lonely all or most of time? Why has loneliness (often caused by a lack of kindness) come to blight contemporary life for so many people?’
‘We need to speak up for ourselves and other children from Scotland’s past. We need to fathom out how to protect subsequent generations. As a society we need to recognise how a good childhood, free of toxic stress, forms the basis of future physical and mental health. And as a country we need to admit that nurturing children has never been one of Scotland’s strengths.’
Standardised testing – as proposed by Nicola Sturgeon – is almost certain to undermine the goals of the Scottish Government’s flagship Curriculum for Excellence and increase inequality in attainment. There are other, much better solutions.