Gordon Cairns

Hold the front page! Why no news really is good news

The politicians keep interfering in education because they want to make headlines – and we are the ones who have to lump it

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On the same day late last year, rival newspapers knew exactly who to blame on their front pages for the falling standards of Scottish education, as measured by the Programme for International Student Assessment.

Confusingly, however, each chose to place the responsibility at different doors. The Herald’s lead article, for example, singled out the number of mixed-level certificate classes for dragging down attainment, while the Daily Mail’s front page blamed non-English speaking children for holding back native speakers.

Everyone has an opinion on education, whether they are directly affected ...

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