When was the last time you heard the shouts, squeals and laughter of young children as they ran, jumped, climbed, built dens, made mixtures and played ‘Let’s Pretend’ in their local neighbourhood? Sue Palmer of Upstart Scotland makes the case for outdoor play
‘Modern Scotland, both before and after devolution, emerges as a country that is more committed to bureaucracy than democracy’.
‘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’.
Rory Scothorne explores the emergence of student radicalism in Scotland, arguing that the politicisation of Scottish students during the “1968 era” has left a lasting impression on Scottish politics and culture rather than the prevailing myth about 1968: it didn’t happen here.
‘(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.
‘Carol Craig has seen and shown how the child is father to the adult, identifying the childhood stresses that result in lifelong damage. But without substantial easing of the economic tensions that strain a household to breaking point, the requisite change isn’t coming any day soon’.
The language of Scottish education needs to become less boastful and sentimental, and more honest. Professor Walter Humes calls for a national policy debate with people prepared to ask tough questions and challenge orthodoxies of an under-achieving education system.
Nothing in education is simple. Professor Emer Smyth throws light on the complex interplay between gender and class at school and urges special investment in support for working class boys.
Liberty and equality are both desirable, but too much of one can lead to too little of the other. Fraternity – the value of face to face relationships of respect and affection – can help establish a fair balance along with equity. In the third extract from Working for Equality the author pleads the case for a leaving certificate of equal value for all.
“It’s not an English problem any more than it’s a Scottish one, it’s a problem for us all.” Alan Milburn’s research report The Elite of Scotland revealed some uncomfortable facts of life in a nation that prides itself on fairness.