Shetland MSP and Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Tavish Scott has today lambasted the Education Secretary, John Swinney, for “skewing the facts” on student teacher intake, after new statistics showed serious failures by the Scottish Government to meet key targets on secondary school and alternative route education entry.
Despite meeting the primary school teacher training target, the statistics published today by the Scottish Government reveal that:
- The total target for secondary school teachers was missed by 208 places.
- The total target for school teachers was missed by 137 places.
- The target for teachers who entered education through “alternative routes” was missed by 91 places.
Alternative routes into teaching include: helping former teachers return to the profession, encouraging integrated routes combining post-graduate education with the probation year and joint degrees in teaching and specialist subjects such as chemistry. A full list can be found here.Read more
Shetland MSP Tavish Scott and Orkney MSP Liam McArthur have lodged a motion in Parliament highlighting the significant discrepancy between isles fuel prices and mainland Scotland. Islanders have long criticised the disproportionate price increase they face when filling up.Read more
Shetland MSP Tavish Scott has expressed his frustration at the continued delay in bringing an eye clinic to the isles. Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is currently treated in Aberdeen with some vulnerable and elderly Shetland patients enduring monthly trips to have sight-saving treatment.
Tavish has frequently raised the issue over recent years. NHS Shetland and NHS Grampian have given repeated assurances on a solution. Tavish is now calling on NHS Shetland and NHS Grampian to guarantee trained nurses are available in Shetland in 2019 to administer these vital eye injections.Read more
The Scottish Parliament passed the Scottish Crown Estate Bill yesterday, paving the way for the devolution of seabed powers to the islands. Shetland MSP Tavish Scott has championed this cause over many years and, as a member of the Smith Commission, achieved cross-party support for giving seabed powers to the islands.
Shetland Islands Council and Crown Estate Scotland are currently working on a marine plan for seabed management in Sullom Voe.Read more
An extension to the period where fishing is controlled from Brussels without any representation is the worst possible news for the Shetland industry says Shetland MSP Tavish Scott.
Speaking in Brussels, where he is part of a cross-party delegation of MSPs, Tavish said:
"Senior UK Government and European figures want an extension to the so-called transition period until 2022. That means a longer period where local fishing is controlled by the Common Fisheries Policy. From next year this policy will be imposed on our industry, our boats and coastal communities without any representation from UK and Scottish Ministers. This is truly the worst of all worlds.
"It is the opposite of what we have been told by the UK Government. They said we will be out of the CFP in 2019. Now it may be another 3 years before fisheries policy is a local responsibility."Read more
Shetland MSP Tavish Scott is highlighting the invaluable contribution of young people to their communities as part of #iwillWeek 2018. From 12-16 November, partners and organisations are enabling young people to share their stories about the social action they are involved in and the impact they are having in their community. The campaign is run by Youthlink Scotland – the national agency for youth work.
As part of the campaign, #iwillWeek young ambassadors posed question to politicians. Tavish answered Joel Meekison, aged 19 who asked whether they think young people can change the world. Tavish highlighted the incredible influence of Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai who was shot by the Taliban as a young girl in Afghanistan and who has continued to campaign for the rights of all children to education.Read more
The Scottish Parliament yesterday voted in favour of Scottish Liberal Democrat Europe spokesperson Tavish Scott MSP’s amendment which, for the first time, commits it to “providing unequivocal support for a public vote on the final terms of the Brexit deal”.
The parliament voted 65, 30 in favour of the Scot Lib Dem amendment. 20 members abstained.Read more
Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Tavish Scott has today warned that the burden on headteachers is "soaring" as new figures showed that the number of schools with shared headships has risen by two thirds since 2010.
The Headteacher Recruitment Working Group Report concluded:
- Head teacher recruitment is a "serious concern"
- 412 (FTE) teachers hold the standard for headship but are not in headteacher roles
- There are 151 more primary schools with shared headteachers from 2010 to 2017.
- Headteachers now work an average of 55.3 hours per week.
- Headteachers are not being paid enough for the work they are doing, especially those who serve as headteacher for more than one school.
Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Tavish Scott today said the SNP have "slashed" grants and bursaries after new higher education figures revealed they are nowhere near the levels of 10 years ago.
The total amount paid in bursaries and grants is 27% lower than it was a decade ago, with the average amount paid per student falling 22%.
Meanwhile, student loans have ballooned. The total value of loans has risen 183% and the average loan authorised per student has risen by 119%.Read more
Improving broadband coverage in Shetland was raised today with Ministers at Holyrood’s General Question Time. Tavish Scott MSP pressed the Scottish Government to ensure that Shetland’s outer and Northern Isles are first in the R100 investment programme.
Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, confirmed that the Government is taking an “outside-in approach” to target remote and rural communities first for coverage.
The Scottish Government has repeatedly promised that 100% of premises in Scotland will have access to superfast broadband of 30Mb/s or more but an Audit Scotland report in September concluded that it will be difficult for the Government to fulfil this commitment. The report also found speeds in Shetland are still among the slowest in the country with almost a fifth of properties still unable to access 10Mb/s.Read more