Tuesday, 24 March 2009

The SNP an Education in Failure

Obviously being a local political operative here in the Linlithgow and Bathgate area one person I run across quite often is the SNP education minister Fiona Hyslop. However, working with numbers all day I have a thing or two I'll be sure to raise with her next time our paths cross.

It does appear that today we have found the way that the Scottish Parliament were hoping to reduce class sizes. Ronnie Smith, general secretary of Scotland's largest teaching union, the EIS deduced:

"Pupil to teacher ratios remain unchanged, which highlights that the Scottish Government's strategy of simply relying on falling pupil numbers and holding
teacher numbers in order to lower class sizes is just not working."

Problem is that Fiona as the Nats education spokesperson promised in her election address to the people of Linlithgow that:

"[The SNP] recruit new teachers to cut over-crowded classes in West Lothian, reducing class sizes in secondary and cutting classes to 18 in Primary 1-3."

Sadly today however, she seems content with the status quo says:

"These figures demonstrate that, for the second year in a row, teacher numbers are delivering a historic low pupil-teacher ratio in Scotland - in both primary and secondary schools.

"The number of teachers in both primary and secondary schools were also higher than in all but one year of the previous administration, in 2006."

Mr. Smith disagrees saying these are the lowest since 2004. Therefore 2004-5, 2005-6, 2006-7 were all academic years when teacher numbers had to have been higher. As schools count in academic years and the Nats had no control over any of these three years.

Considering the SNP glossy A3 promising it's time for a Government of new ideas and then listed:

  • It's time for a fairer local tax fail

  • It's time for more police on the street fail

  • It's time to dump student debt dumped

  • It's time for the best start in life fail (see above)

  • It's time to keep healthcare local success

  • It's time to back small business partial success but how many of the 120,000 small business they set out to help are still in business

So what's that 1.5 out of six key planks. Even Meatloaf would be hard pressed to say that ain't bad.

Update 25/3: Make that one more fail as the Nats are moving to a two tier health service.

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