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Learning for Life

Education can transform lives and communities, but current policy is too focussed on making young people ‘job-ready’, as though our economic lives are everything.

Greens will put more emphasis on nurturing people’s talents and encouraging creative, analytical thinking, investing in an education system that is accessible to all, celebrates diversity and nurtures talent.

School and Pre-school

We believe that education is both an individual and societal benefit. Providing excellent compulsory education for ages 6 to 16 allows individuals to explore their talents and reach their potential.

We will give children a better start by encouraging good parental health and providing high quality child-care and nursery places. We will provide better educational opportunity for children by selecting the best possible teachers, paying them good salaries and including time in their week for collaboration and planning. Teachers would have more independence and policy changes would be rooted in educational research, properly discussed with teachers and thoroughly piloted before implementation.

The curriculum should be broad based, allowing pupils to become well developed citizens. The inspection system should not be an onerous, time consuming box-ticking exercise, but a supportive engaging dialogue that helps school to improve and share best practices.

College and University

Colleges and universities provide skills, research, innovation and life-long learning. We believe access to this education is a right, and should not depend on a person’s ability to pay.

We will treat colleges and vocational courses on par with academic courses and support flexible learning. Universities will be structured more democratically. Admission procedures should assess student potential using criteria which go beyond school grades. Flexible and varied teaching methods would help support a more diverse student body.

No EU undergraduate will pay tuition fees for their first degree and all students will be entitled to a non-repayable living grant as a step towards a Citizen’s Income. Greens will seek to end short-term contracts for university staff, increase the lecturer:student ratio and procure research through universities rather than private companies. Universities will be encouraged to maintain a stock of non-privatised student residences and be allowed to mutualise student accommodation.

Culture

Culture produces positive, creative, inquiring and educated citizens. It also attracts inward tourism. We will encourage participation in the arts, both actively and passively. The arts can help in regeneration and tackling exclusion and we will require Scottish Enterprise to include a cultural remit.