Now is no time to reduce support for the young

16th October 2009 at 01:00

The Centre for Public Policy for Regions has stated that spending on Scottish education could be slashed by up to pound;680 million a year without affecting children. I struggle to see how this is possible in reality.

At present, schools are being squeezed tighter and tighter to live within their budgets. Many would love to upgrade computer equipment and offer more diverse classes but cannot, because of constraints.

There is also the issue of dealing with the thousands of Scottish children needing additional support to succeed in school, and indeed life. Now, as the recession, family breakdowns, homelessness and drug abuse are increasing barriers to success, is not the time we should be talking about reducing the support offered to young people.

The Prince's Trust Scotland helps around 4,000 of these people yearly, giving them the confidence and focus to control their lives. A lot of the work is delivered through schools. The earlier a person is reached, the better chance for them to have a bright future.

Early intervention and a continued commitment to providing our young people with appropriate learning choices is key to ensuring Scotland does not experience a lost generation. Every life that is turned around is an investment worth making.

Geraldine Gammell, director, The Prince's Trust Scotland, Queen Street, Glasgow.

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