Archive for Education


We should be a country that is at peace with itself and at peace with the world. I have always felt that one of the best ways of judging society is how well it looks after children and older people. There are many societies from the forests of Brazil to the advanced economies of northern Europe that do things that we should aspire to. Children have a right to love, health and protection from birth and we could do a lot more for many children in Scotland in their early years.  It should not be possible for anybody on retirement to find that they have been robbed of their pension. The basic pension should provide a decent basic income. In fact I would like our pension, child support and entire benefits system to be redesigned to provide a basic income for all.  We need to recognise that our mental and spiritual health is just as important as physical health. To achieve this we need a huge investment in the arts, theatre, music and in reconciling people with their natural environment.

We should look at the yin and yang of investment. 70% at least of offenders are between 15 and 25, so put more money into youth clubs and sport, not more police officers and ASBOs. .  Educating offenders and giving them self respect and opportunities is better than locking them up in prisons, invest more in the former and you wont need the latter. We waste up to 80% of the energy we use so put 80% of new investment into insulation and energy saving.

One size does not fit all. At least a quarter of our children leave secondary school having not enjoyed it very much. Education should offer experiences and the opportunity for children to develop all of their potential not just those skills that can be expressed through writing examinations.

My vision for Scotland is a country where everyone has a sense of place and those places are well designed, environmentally sustainable, secure, in a community that loves cares for and respects every single member from birth to death.


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Photocall: 11am, Friday 29 September, public foyer of Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh

Robin Harper MSP, co-leader of the Green Party, will today (Friday 29th September) present an Awards for All grant for £5,000 to a group of junior chess players in the Scottish Parliament. The youngsters will receive the money on behalf of Chess Scotland who will use it to appoint conduct a root and branch review of schools and junior chess development in Scotland. Read the rest of this entry »

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It has been revealed following an alert from concerned parents to Green MSPs, that the practice of fingerprinting schoolchildren as young as 5 years old, in some cases without parental consent, is being introduced to a number of Scottish schools as part of a high tech biometric ID system to access school libraries. (1) Campaigners claim that Portobello High School in Edinburgh is using a biometric related system. (2) Greens have called for the practice to be investigated and have submitted a series of questions to demand answers from the Scottish Executive on the matter. Read the rest of this entry »

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