New Shetland MSP becomes Lib Dem education spokeswoman

Beatrice Wishart has called on the SNP to protect private nursery providers as part of the extension of free childcare

Tes Reporter

Beatrice Wishart, the new Shetland MSP, has been appointed Lib Dem education spokeswoman in Scotland

Newly elected Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart has been appointed as education spokeswoman for the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie announced that Ms Wishart will take on the role previously held by her predecessor as Shetland MSP, Tavish Scott, before his resignation.

Ms Wishart said: "I am delighted to be taking up the role of education spokesperson for the Scottish Liberal Democrats."

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"From my work on Shetland Islands Council's education committee, I know how important it is that everyone has a chance to get a great education.

'Overworked teachers and super-size classes'

"Getting a high-quality education helps people to meet their full potential in life."

She added: "The first minister [Nicola Sturgeon] said that education would be at the heart of her agenda, but Scotland's teachers are overworked and dealing with more and more super-sized classes.

"Where young people are being let down, I will hold the SNP to account while pressing for a liberal agenda that ensures everyone gets the education and support they need to get on in life."

Ms Wishart was elected in a by-election in August, retaining the seat for her party with 5,659 votes despite a 14.4 per cent swing to the SNP.

In one of her first acts as an MSP, Ms Wishart wrote to childcare and early years minister Maree Todd calling on the government to protect private nursery providers as part of the extension of free childcare.

Mr Rennie said: "Beatrice Wishart is a diligent and hardworking campaigner and she will do an excellent job building on the work Scottish Liberal Democrats have done to scrutinise the SNP's failing education agenda."

Mr Scott stepped down as the MSP for Shetland this summer to take up a new job with Scottish Rugby.

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