Crisis or confidence?

Do I see some cause for concern in the latest PISA findings? Yes! Do I see a ‘crisis’ in Scottish education? Of course not! Because I’m neither an idiot nor, to the extent that there is a meaningful distinction, a British nationalist.

While any suggestion of a decline in education standards is troubling, what is truly disturbing is the unbridled glee with which the British parties have pounced on this suggestion as a stick with which to beat the hated SNP. In all the overblown rhetoric of catastrophic, sky-collapsing failure, it is not possible to detect so much as a vestigial concern for those at the heart of the issue – the students. Listening to the comments from the British parties in Scotland one hears only the bitter resentment of politicians rejected by the electorate and the shrill panic of ideological Unionists fearful of any threat to a system that serves their narrow personal and partisan interests.

Such is the state of our politics in Scotland that the divide is not between different concepts of education – its purpose, organisation and methods – but between those who are genuinely concerned about the educational welfare of our children and those whose first instinct is to use it as a weapon in their fight to regain what they regard as their rightful status.

Are there issues with Scotland’s education system that need to be addressed? Undoubtedly! Are those issues going to be effectively addressed by media sensationalism and political theatrics? Absolutely not!

Who should we trust to address those issues? Should we put our faith in those who, for the sake of petty political advantage, seize upon every opportunity to talk down our education system and the people who make it work? Or should we rely on the people who maintain a sense of proportion and decline to indulge in a knee-jerk reaction to a single isolated indicator?

Should we turn to those who can see nothing but crisis? Or should we stick with those who have earned our confidence?

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4 thoughts on “Crisis or confidence?

  1. Andy McKirdy

    Spot on Peter, more than happy to believe the current Govt will get it sorted, they have done with most things.
    The others, especially Slabber, should think about the state they got our education system into over generations. Complicit in this of course were the local authorities and we all know who controlled them, roll on next year.
    On every issue, not just education, the British national parties have “having a go at the SNP” as their sole agenda and like every issue they had generations in power to do the right thing and they failed to do so.
    If any of them got to be in charge tomorrow they would do precisely what they always did for Scotland and that’s absolutely Hee Haw.
    Try and think of anything the Labour Party did for Scotland in the Last 50-60 years and you’ll struggle, I’ve tried.

  2. Duncan Laing

    What’s different about 2 years ago when “Scotland is the best educated Nation in Europe” and TODAY ?! .. How could standards/results drop so quickly when Scotland’s Education System is exactly the same as it was 2 years ago ??!
    English infiltration into Scotland’s Education System with the purpose of …??
    The reported figures are utterly FALSE
    The Scottish Government is totally devoid of sense/completely lost the plot ??
    The figures are a “blip” and will return to normal ??
    Either way, the BBC are loving it lol .. hmm , could that be reason? .. BBC reported the wrong figures ? … I SMELL SHITE 😉

  3. Clydebuilt

    The PISA test used to be carried out in 2nd year , but I’ve heard in the past few days it’s 15 yr olds that sit it now.

    Scotland certainly doesn’t teach to the PISA test. If we did we would rapidly climb the rankings. As A country did recently, think it was Hungary……. So if international prestige is top of our targets to aim for we should be teaching to the PISA test. This would certainly get tge press of the S. Gov’s back. Would this get more kids to better outcomes?

    BUT Scotland is certainly getting something right, we’re sending record numbers of our youth to further education. And /or a positive outcome……. So perhaps it’s a case of steady as she goes.

    An average PISA outcome is not a strong case for any great upheaval in our education system.

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