How about these improvements for starters?

28th February 2003 at 00:00
I was disappointed that last week's Viewpoint by Henry Maitles was so lacking in balance and accuracy. Henry's piece purported to be an analysis of the record of the Scottish Executive in terms of tackling social inclusion and educational investment.

Henry omitted to mention that:

* The proportion of children in Scotland living in low income households has fallen absolutely from 34 per cent in 1997 to 21 per cent today.

* since 1997 there have been an extra 1,297 full-time teachers plus an additional 1,500 classroom assistants.

* 100 schools have been rebuilt or refurbished and money has been made available for a further 200 schools undergoing similar treatment within the next five years.

* spending in real terms has risen pound;300 per pupil since the establishment of the Scottish Parliament;

* spending on books and equipment has risen by 64 per cent over the same period.

* in Glasgow alone the council's education budget will rise by 35 per cent over the years 2001 to 2004.

These are just a few of a long list of improvements in education effected by the Labour-led Scottish Executive.

We all recognise that much remains to be done. One might have expected, however, a more balanced and accurate picture to be offered by a senior lecturer in social studies.

Ian McCalman Secretary, Socialist Educational Association Scotland

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