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ELECTION 2021: Education 'key to equality' in Scotland


By Kyle Ritchie

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THE pandemic has impacted people at all stages in their education journey and everyone in the education system must be given the opportunities they need to catch up with what they’ve missed, says Labour's Banffshire and Buchan Coast candidate Georgia Strachan.

Scottish Labour's candidate for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Georgia Strachan.
Scottish Labour's candidate for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Georgia Strachan.

Scottish Labour has an education catch-up plan which includes:

  • Tutoring programmes for school pupils paid for by the Scottish Government.
  • A Personal Comeback Plan for every pupil in Scotland to meet their individual needs.
  • Free exam resits, including a college place if necessary, for every child who sat exams over the pandemic.
  • Support for the workforce with priority vaccinations for teachers.
  • Summer Comeback Passes with free access to sports and arts activity, to get kids active over summer.

Education is key to equality in Scotland. I was horrified last year when students’ exam results were to be based on the past performance of their school, a move that would have embedded inequalities that are already too prevalent between the richest and poorest students.

I’ve also been struck by the unfairness of current attempts to downgrade the status and pay of college lecturers.

To downgrade lecturers during a pandemic that has affected so many young people’s futures and education would be catastrophic. We need colleges and colleges need lecturers.

I’m keenly aware that I’ve been fortunate to benefit from quite a lot of education – a university degree, an Erasmus year spent in Madrid, and a Masters in Human Rights Law.

For me, education has been responsible, not only for opening up opportunities, but also for introducing me to new people, ideas, and possibilities.

Opportunities like mine should be open to all, but we also need to expand vocational education, ensuring it is treated as equal to university education.

Surely that begins with valuing colleges and their lecturers?


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