As run in the Falkirk Herald 26/8/2021
The Scottish Government must help our pupils recover from almost a year of lost education. Although schools and teachers have tried to fill the gap with online lessons, we can’t act as if this is an adequate substitute for physical lessons, and of course the relationships pupils build at school.
No matter what happens in the future, we must do all we can to avoid any future school closures.
The current priority is to ensure next year’s students are able to sit exams, so we do not have to rely on algorithms or predictions to give pupils their grades. We also must make sure that disadvantaged pupils across Scotland are supported as the gap has widened between the richest and poorest. As exam results for the most well off continue to improve, those in poorer areas are slipping. As the Convenor for the education, children and young people committee scrutinising the Scottish Government, I will make these issues my personal priority.
The Scottish Government is more concerned about injecting politics into schools. I personally do not believe 12-year old children should be asked to wear masks for hours on end without any knowledge on how it affects a young person’s growing body. I additionally directly oppose the Scottish Government’s new guidance which tells parents their children as young as 4 should be able to, without Parental knowledge, “explore their gender”, by dressing differently, using different pronouns or names, or using the other toilets or changing rooms.
Parents need to be in charge of making decisions for their children, not the Scottish Government. The role of the Government is to provide the best opportunities for pupils to learn, grow, and achieve. It’s not their role to act as a parent.
I would have thought the SNP would have learned from their failed “Named persons scheme”, which was found to breach human rights laws in terms of a breach of privacy and family life. Clearly they still have lessons to learn.