Reevesey's recommended reading

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Detention for Fiona Hyslop as Tavish Scott goes top of the class

So, Alex Salmond has today sacked Fiona Hyslop as Education Secretary and moved her to a non cabinet position covering the external affairs and culture portfolio and to add insult to injury the responsibility for the constitution has been removed from the post.

Mike Russell (previously Environment minister sacked for proposing to sell off 25% of Scotland's forests) has now been moved from Culture minister to Education Secretary. Let's hope his first idea isn't selling off 25% of the schools!

This reshuffle has come about partly because of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

On Saturday, Tavish Scott informed all four main parties in the Scottish Parliament that he was intending to propose a motion of no confidence in Fiona Hyslop as Education Secretary in the allocated Liberal Democrats opposition day in Parliament on Thursday.

Alex Salmond obviously didn't want to go through the pain of a debate where the Liberal Democrats launched a full frontal assault on Education, so he has pushed Fiona Hyslop rather than be publicly humiliated in Parliament.

Although as Tavish Scott rightly points out, this isn't about Alex Salmond, Fiona Hyslop or even Mike Russell it is about the children, it is about all of those children going through school.

There are 54,000 children across Scotland in P7 classes who face the start of the new Curriculum For Excellence next August. Yet, here we are only eight months away and teachers still have not had the details of the assessments and the exams that they need to do their job properly and ensure our children have the best start.

Without a fresh approach and some new thinking, the new
curriculum will be under-planned and under-resourced and I am sure the SNP will blame the local councils and teachers alike if this happens.

As I blogged on Saturday
there is a crisis not only in teacher numbers but also the relationship between the government and the councils. The latest figures show there are 1,300 fewer teachers than this time last year and class sizes continue to rise.

Fiona Hyslop threatened to nationalise every school in Scotland and remove any role for local government. No-one believes that the Minister in Edinburgh can possibly run every single school and nor should they, that is why we elect local councillors and employ good staff who implement the education strategies.

The other bizarre part of this re-shuffle is that the First Minister has now personally taken responsibility for the forthcoming bill on an independence referendum.


The First Minister should be way too busy to take a bill through Parliament. So, is this decision because no-one else is with him? Not enough talent in the SNP benches? Or just that Alex Salmond isn't busy enough and this will help fill his day?

Seriously though, I do not think the First Minister is sending out the right message if he has to personally oversee a Bill through Parliament at the time we are going through a major recession.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails