THE outcome of the latest Pisa report is in anyone’s terms damning of standards in Scotland’s schools.
The benefits of a world-class education system to every individual, from early years through to employment and retiral, are clear, however we see Scotland’s future.
If, as seems most likely, Scotland remains in the UK outside the EU, we will need a population with a first class education to continue to attract employers and to create greater productivity.
Conversely, the First Minister has recently been suggesting that Scotland might emulate the Irish model, in which case we would have a similar economy. We would then need our young people to be well-enough educated to emigrate in the same numbers and to earn enough in remittances to help their families. Currently 35,000 people leave Ireland every year to do just that.
Surely, therefore, it can be agreed at Holyrood that education is the absolute top priority on all sides of the house: in the UK or out, likewise in the EU or out, we cannot afford to fail our children any further.
Peter A Russell