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If the public wants better education then let them pay for it

Recent issues of The TES Scotland have raised a number of important issues concerning the future of education in Scotland.

First, HMI have expressed concern at the achievement levels in S1 and S2 .This is undoubtedly due to the transitional anxieties from having to cope with a very different environment at secondary school. Does not the obvious answer lie in training our teachers for a role in both primary and secondary education?

This would provide students with a better understanding of both as well as a more holistic approach to children's educational needs. If this necessitates a longer period of teacher training, then so be it since it will produce a much more flexible teaching labour force.

We have also heard recently of Professor Gavin McCrone's anxieties concerning the essential thrust of his report and a possible lack of "esprit de corps" among the teaching profession in order to make it happen, combined with local authorities who may "rat" on the proposals through lack of cash.

This reinforces the need for full-time administrators in our schools to free up teaching time as well as the use of the tax varying power of the Scottish Parliament (or tartan tax), which the present coalition government on the Mound is so paranoid about using.

Opinion poll after opinion poll, has shown that the Scottish public is prepared to pay more tax for better services. Let us be bold enough to use it.

Jim Park Education spokesperson Scottish Green Party Albany Street, Edinburgh

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