Access to all and a winning style

30th June 2000 at 01:00
Neil Munro on the hectic first year of the Scottish Parliament, which took up its legislative powers a year ago tomorrow.

IT'S ANNIVERSARY time again, an excuse to look back at the education world's early dances with devolution. As teachers and the rest of education might ask, paraphrasing the Palestinian inquiry of the Romans in The Life of Brian, "what have the MSPs ever done for us?"

Well, there is an education Bill for a start, shortly to become an Act. The lesser-known Education and Training (Scotland) Bill, ushering in individual learning accounts, completed its passage yesterday (Thursday). The chamber has rung to the sound of debates which would have got no more than a half-hour midnight slot in Westminster - if they were lucky.

From children in care and early education o student tuition fees and Skillseekers, few issues have been left outside the spotlight - although who could have predicted that a furore over an obscure piece of legislation, which began with gay sex lessons and ended in marriage, would become the burning educational topic of the year?

Most of those who spend their lives dealing with Parliament have given the first year a resounding endorsement, al-though as much for style as for substance. The greater accessibility of the policy-makers is the key virtue stressed by Ronnie Smith, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, and Judith Gillespie, of the Scottish Parent Teacher Council.

"The simple test for me is whether I would want to wind the clock back," Smith says, "and the answer is an unambiguous No."


Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now