Harvie takes FM to task over education, urging her to drop unwanted reforms and change direction

Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie MSP today took the First Minister to task over her government's proposed changes to the way schools are run, urging her to drop the ‘unwanted, unneeded’ reforms and change direction.

This week saw the results of the government’s third consultation on proposed changes, which would impose greater responsibilities on already-overworked head teachers and create an extra layer of bureaucracy known as regional collaboratives, when joint-working between schools already exists.

The consultation is the latest to show that the teaching profession, parents, trade unions and councils do not believe the proposed changes will address the real problems in Scottish education: teacher workload, staff numbers and resource shortages.

Following First Minister's Questions, Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"Surely the latest consultation results mean it’s 'three strikes and you’re out' for the SNP's unwanted changes to the way schools are run? Those involved in education see no need for what is proposed, have repeatedly warned that it risks reducing the focus on teaching, and want the Government to focus instead in the resources our schools need.

"There is no majority in parliament for these proposals, which fundamentally miss the point – the major problems in Scottish education are teacher workload, staff and resource shortages, with acute problems in areas such as additional support needs.

"The Greens don’t want to inflict a government defeat for the sake of scoring points – we want the Government to drop its obsession with unwanted structures and get on with addressing real problems, like the fact that in 2010 there was one ASN teacher for every eighteen pupils with additional needs and this has now declined to one for every fifty-five."