Thursday, 26 November 2009

FMQs Thursday 26 November 2009

Iain Gray opened this week with questions about the government's proposal to offer early retirement to school teachers in order to make jobs available for newly qualified teachers. He also accused the government of reducing teacher numbers since they've been in power and allowing crumbling schools to crumble even more.

The FM explained that some councils were having difficulties with teacher numbers and in particular Glasgow City council (labour) was responsible for 25% of the reduction.

I can never understand why labour bring the condition of Scotland's schools up at FMQs. The school is such disrepair haven't suddenly crumbled since 2007. It's the lack of investment from previous years which has caused the poor condition of schools although the SNP government continue to address the matter.

Annabel Goldie's turn repeated the 'stop free prescriptions' call and she returned to her question of last week regarding an increase in health visitors. The FM, after quoting some statistics, said he would consider her suggestion.

These days I rather feel for Tavish Scott because he does leave himself open to ridicule but his question this week was about the amount of money lying in the bank accounts of quangos. The First Minister explained the Treasury would not give permission for monies to be withdrawn from quango accounts and added to the government's coffers so there was little point in withdrawing it just to send it to the Treasury.

Some interesting debate today and I have to give credit to Iain Gray for his improved delivery, even though the taxpayer paid for his TV acting lessons.

Forgive me for such a brief report but it's a card night and time is rather short. The complete half hour can be viewed on BBC iPlayer or HolyroodTV.


Dramfineday said...

Was QT before or after Labour blew out the minimum pricing proposal as I predicted they would? I did think the health of the nation would come before petty party politics but no............they couldn't rise to it. Aw well, what did I expect?

Enjoy your cards

Allan said...

I think the Greyman was getting a dig at the SNP's failure to replace PPP/PFI, while forgetting to realise that the renovation undertaken by lots of New Labour led councils has saddled these councils with debts and holes in budgets.

subrosa said...

I don't know Dram and I haven't had time to fine out. Labour announced late yesterday they would bring down the proposal so I assumed they would vote against it today. They did but I shall do more homework. Promise.

subrosa said...

Aye Allan and Alex Salmond confirms that but I don't think the overall SNP message shouts it loud enough.

Still it's not perhaps their fault as I know they struggle to acquire airtime on the MSM. All the MSM want to report is connected with the Union and how great is is or how they're determined to keep it together, no matter what crap we have to tolerate.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Not sure I agree with the £10m being loaned to councils to help fund early retirements.

Education in Scotland needs both the wisdom of experience and the enthusiasm of youth.

So perhaps that £10m would be better 'loaned' not to entice the experienced into leaving, but to give two hundred or so post graduates teachers a couple of years real experience in their chosen profession.

Tutoring Scotland's future assets to maximum effect, doesn't, at this stage, sit well by the factoring in of the scrap heap.

subrosa said...

Crinkly, that's the consensus of a conversation I had with others yesterday. We need the combination of experience and youth.

I'm told many teachers are thinking of early retirement because of the recent case of the chap being convicted for attempting to defend himself. One said she was worried about having a conversation with a pupil on a one to one in case they were accused of verbal assault. What a sad state of affairs.

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