From principal teacher to pupil of Parliament

One teacher-turned-politician says there are plenty of similarities between the two careers – and that First Minister’s Questions reminds her of a rowdy classroom

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Politicians were never a distant entity to me as a modern studies teacher. You know the drill: it’s election time, so invite the candidates in for a hustings, organise a Q&A with the local MSP and visit Parliament with your class. Previously I’d worked for Tricia Marwick and Kenny MacAskill, so I knew politicians were (relatively!) normal.

Now, as an MSP, I’m always struck by the similarities between the classroom and the chamber. The noise and clamour to be heard in First Minister’s Questions is reminiscent of my S4s at Period 6 on a Friday. The theatre of it, too, with the usual suspects up ...

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