“Our once envied education system is now in tatters thanks to the SNP”

IN THE MIDDLE of the congratulations and handshakes during the countdown earlier this month at the Emirates Arena, my mind lingered on two things.

First, I felt sadness and regret at the losses suffered by the Glasgow Tories.

Excellent and experienced advisors and candidates who are committed to serving their communities, residents and businesses ultimately fail.

They were victims of an election that did not focus entirely on local issues, but was hampered by events elsewhere.

I was sad because it left our wonderful city at the mercy of an already outdated and ineffectual SNP administration and Glasgow Conservatives cut to two.

Thomas (now Baillie) Kerr of Shettleston and the new “boy”, my good self.

The second was the realization that after decades of working for the city council, I was now an elected member of it and had a real opportunity to influence decisions that I had previously benefited from. .

This was, without a doubt, the main factor that motivated me to get up after an early retirement; a chance to bring an informed and experienced voice to the chambers of the city from someone who is usually the recipient of these decisions.

Having been a pupil, teacher and headmaster in Glasgow schools for my whole life, I feel extremely qualified to speak with great authority about the ups and downs of the city’s educational provision.

There is no doubt that the once envied Scottish education system is no longer at the top.

The system has been so affected that the SNP government has seen fit to remove Scotland from international comparison charts in a bid to hide its shame.

The greatest shame, however, is the fact that it is the poorest of our students who have suffered the greatest impact on academic achievement.

A succession of Labor and SNP administrations have presided over this decline in standards; implement the latest fashion in education at the time to the detriment of proven methods.

Let’s be clear, it’s not the fault of hard-working teachers, who are usually the last to be consulted on changes and “improvements” in education, their years of experience considered secondary to the latest fashionable and fashionable methodology. Yes, I’m looking at you Curriculum for Excellence (CFE).

For nearly 20 years, a generation or two of students have been treated like guinea pigs as CFE has been introduced, reintroduced, revised and redesigned, depending on who is in the education minister’s office.

Simple and basic educational tools, such as formal assessments, were abandoned (making it difficult for parents, students, and even teachers to track progress or results) only to be reintroduced when teachers were finally listened to.

Too late for so many of our students who rely on education as the key to a better life.

If I do nothing more as a newly elected councilor than bring a seasoned voice to the decision-making process of our local government system, then the congratulations and handshakes of the Election Day count will have been deserved.