Recently the SEAS met with Anas Sarwar and Richard Leonard the candidates for the Leader of the Scottish Labour Party. We were keen to hear their views for real change in Scottish education after a lost decade under SNP.
The SEAS would like to see a Scottish Labour Party leading an education service that develops the talents of the many, not selective practices for the few. We want to secure improvement for all by investing in our socialised, inclusive, comprehensive school system and extending lifelong learning for all our citizens.
Our five key points were
We must invest in quality early learning with access to staff trained in integrated approaches, improving access to teaching. We should ensure more challenging and enjoyable experiential learning through play within early level of Curriculum for Excellence. No Primary 1 standardised testing. We would want a key focus at Early Level
We want Scotland to aspire to global best practice by being a world leader in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 and its targets and realising children’s rights to inclusive education. We should invest in and foster real inclusion for those with additional support needs and plan for progressive inclusion with a new role for special schools and specialist services to reduce segregated education and support inclusive schools. Schools should embed equality education to challenge stereotyping and reduce bullying against those different, including class, gender, disability, race, sexual orientation religion of belief with greater attention to global citizenship and equality education.
At the Senior Phase collaboration among schools, education authorities, communities, unions and businesses to give greater value to skills for life, learning and work including digital skills, particularly for working class kids. Prepare young people for future careers in worthwhile vocational learning
End inspection of primary schools and promote approaches to self-evaluation reporting and accountability to parents by schools and education authorities. Education Scotland to support self-evaluation and accountability to parents and communities.
Eliminate overly supportive Scottish Government aid and hidden public subsidy to private fee-charging schools. Introduce business rates and end their charitable status. HM inspectors to remove Individual Link inspectors from every private schools and inspect and regulate care and child protection rigorously to reduce child protection and safeguarding weaknesses in private schools.