“For the Scottish government to claim that this supersedes PISA – as they do in their statement today – is either disingenuous or evidence of dismaying statistical ignorance.” (Prof Lindsay Paterson)
“We can sum all this up by concluding that current Scottish policy is not working, whereas current policy in England – whatever its faults – seems to have had some positive effects on attainment when compared over a decade,” writes Lindsay Paterson in a damning conclusion for Scottish policy-makers.
“Bringing forward new proposals to improve literacy and numeracy, in response to the PISA results, may produce some improvement, but there are deeper, systemic problems that require to be addressed. Are politicians, administrators and senior professionals capable of demonstrating the boldness that is required?” asks Walter Humes in his latest broadside against a mutually self-supporting educational bureaucracy
“One by one aspects of what the CFS did were closed down or were taken back under the aegis of the council. The times changed. Austerity, unemployment, and drugs bit hard here. The Festival Society gradually declined, and so did the sense of community.”
Fund-raising is a constant fact of life for a charity providing high quality, multi-disciplinary “life and death affirming” care for a growing number of children and families facing the reality of life with life-shortening conditions. Medical advances mean longer lives for more children with terminal illnesses (recent CHAS research estimates more than 16,000 children aged 0-21 are in need of specialist care).
“A start to redressing this imbalance would be for the UK Government and the devolved governments to sign the European Charter of Local Self Government – then we could at last begin to have serious conversations, based on a joint understanding of and respect for each other’s roles, on how we are to successfully tackle the substantial and increasingly complex issues of the future.”
“…now would be a good time to shake things up even further. Who will make that happen? I expect little from the Government or the Parliament, it’ll be for others to push for change..”
“Scots have a self-image of being frank and forthright. Within the professions at least, this is rarely justified. Agreement with official policy rather than plain speaking is the dominant form of discourse at the upper levels of Scottish education. Similar tendencies can be seen in law and medicine….”
“The issues are whether and how an independent Scotland would make the transition, at what cost, paid for by whom, over how long and, crucially, what policies would be needed to get to a position where people are at least no worse off. These are not insurmountable but they are challenging. But the SNP, as the main advocates of independence, does not appear up to the challenge.”
“For now, there’s a mismatch between the Scottish Government’s vision of a more successful Scotland – where poverty is reduced, and economic growth is sustainable – and how we assess public sector performance. I am not convinced that public sector leaders really feel accountable for delivering change that demands different organisations work together.”