MSPs to the rescue

29th May 2009 at 01:00

Our parliamentarians may have found a new cause: save our small schools because they produced loads of MSPs.

Sandy Longmuir of the Scottish Rural Schools Network clearly felt he was on to a winner when he produced a roll call of the, er, not-so-famous.

Tory Jamie McGrigor went to a very small (unspecified) school, he began. So did Lib Dem leader Tavish Scott (Bres-say Primary in Shetland) and his party colleagues Liam McArthur (Sanday School in Orkney), Jim Hume (Yarrow Primary, Borders) and John Farquhar Munro (somewhere in Glenshiel).

And let us not forget former First Minister Jack McConnell, who got his taste for public service at Lamlash Primary on Arran.

The point, caller, was of course that attending a small school is not attended by disadvantage. But, in the present political climate, when the standing of our parliaments is not exactly at its highest, perhaps this is not the brightest argument for saving rural schools.

Ye Ken noo

We didn't realise the secondary heads gen sec Ken Cunningham was so frank and fearless. In an interview with his house journal, Scottish Leader, he confesses admirably to being "no good at self-analysis but am good at self-delusion".

We don't believe it.

What a b***

It is no secret that Glasgow City Council is not flavour of the month with education supremo Fiona Hyslop. So Glasgow-baiting is a regular feature among her sidekicks, the SNP's Kenny Gibson being no exception.

At last week's parliamentary education committee scrutinising the school closures bill, Gibson pointed out how upsetting it was for parents when information put forward for consultation was "blatantly incorrect". This issue had been raised during the recent school closures consultation in Glasgow, he fumed.

As it turned out, however, there had only been two errors in the Glasgow consultation and these were typographical, explained Jim Wilson, head of performance and estate management. In one case a "c" had been printed instead of a "b"; in the other case, the opposite had happened.

Mixing up a "b" and a "c" - that could be dangerous. In fact, it's a scandal.

A non-starter

As ever, we turn to the Daily Mail to take the pulse of the nation. "Teachers demand tax perk to work at home," thundered its front page a couple of weeks back.

This was the basis of a motion at the annual Scottish conference of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers. It's such a pity that the gathering was cancelled after a Mexican flu scare. The swines!

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