Stop decommissioning, invest in renewables

“The renewables investment would generate substantially more sustainable jobs in areas like design, construction and operations and maintenance over the typical 25-year lifespan of a facility.” Why taxpayer-funded North Sea decommissioning is a bad idea.

No evidence for good policy-making by soundbite

‘Instead of policy issues we were presented with one of two questions. Either “the minister wants to do this, can you provide evidence to show it is a good thing?” Or “the minister wants to do this, can you help us kill it off?”’ The DHI director on the rush from evidence into the dark world opf politics….

Police Scotland and failing parliamentary oversight

‘Police Scotland’s problems are by no means wholly reducible to parliamentary process. Still, it seems fair to suggest that the manner in which the Bill proceeded through the Scottish Parliament has not helped matters.’ Taking PLOs (ministerial aides) off committees does not alter the lack of proper scrutiny/partisan politics rather than acting in the public interest.

Indy Scotland can’t bet on low bond yields

“Caution might suggest this would be a risky strategy given that we have no idea how long these ‘abnormal’ conditions will persist. Some supporters of independence will no doubt believe that it is a risk worth taking.” Scotland cannot bet on perennially low cost of borrowing…

Gold standard for Scottish education?

Nicola Sturgeon, we know, has chosen her experienced deputy John Swinney to spearhead improvements to the Scottish education system over the next five years. But, argues an independent school head, writing in a personal capacity, there’s more to fix than the (narrowing) attainment gap.

Closing the gap via self-directed schools

Charitable trusts would take over East Lothian schools under the author’s plan seven years ago. The idea came to nought. Avoiding the English academy model to close the attainment gap, Prof Ledingham proposes 50 prototype self-directed schools. Here he sets out his plan.

Scotland’s economy in the EU

Scottish voters will supposedly deliver a resounding vote for Remain in the June 23 referendum on UK membership of the EU. Yet, a leading economist reveals, the country’s economy is not as positively integrated in Europe as its people.

New Education Minister: raising standards

Her choice of Education Minister will be a defining element of Nicola Sturgeon’s likely cabinet reshuffle and of her first full five-year term as First Minister. The agenda could not be tougher or more complex – and the selection of the minister and team full of pitfalls. Here are a few pointers – and runners and riders.