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SNP - the madness continues

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11 minutes ago, Gonzo79 said:

His lapel badge is actually the Saltire (a Christian symbol) and the UAE (host nation) flag, @Scott7.

Pity. I like a good outrage.


Still a foreign emblem. I didn’t hold with all the Ukraine stuff either.

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1 hour ago, Scott7 said:

There’s a photo of Yousaf at the Climate Panto. He gets to meet some luminaries notably John Kerry and the President of Zambia but the wee ratbag seems to be wearing a lapel badge with the crossed flags of Scotland and apparently Palestine.

He has personal and political links with Gaza but no FM on official business should wear the emblem of a foreign entity.

Swamp the First Minister’s contact with your disdain. He won’t see the messages himself but his backroom jockos might think it wasn’t such a good idea after all.

Like our King wearing a tie with the Greek flag on it.

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It seems many elite and authority British figures hold the UK in disdain and have nothing but contempt for ordinary people.  Never has it been so blatant. And they're doing a damn good job of bringing it down. 

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2 hours ago, Gonzo79 said:

It seems many elite and authority British figures hold the UK in disdain and have nothing but contempt for ordinary people.  Never has it been so blatant. And they're doing a damn good job of bringing it down. 

It would be nice to think everything has a breaking point but control over the grunts is now so complete and ignorance so manufactured and universal that frankly we shouldn't have a chance any more. Only the near-inevitable stupidity that comes with complacency offers any hope ....... Brexit was a good example.

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‘Pupil performance in Scotland has slumped in maths, science and reading, according to the “catastrophic” findings of the first international comparison of the education system in five years.


’‘The Scottish government said the Pisa reports showed the nation’s education service “has maintained its international standing”.’

I blame Pink Floyd.

English, of course. 


"We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teacher, leave them kids alone

Hey, teacher, leave them kids alone
All in all, it's just another brick in the wall
All in all, you're just another brick in the wall"



Scotland’s failings revealed in first Pisa scores since pandemic

Education rankings show UK as a whole remains above average among 80 nations

Helen Puttick

Tuesday December 05 2023, 10.00am, The Times





Pupil performance in Scotland has slumped in maths, science and reading, according to the “catastrophic” findings of the first international comparison of the education system in five years.

The Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa), which has tracked education results around the world since 2002, shows that pupils’ results in science and maths have continued to decline and improvements in reading recorded in 2018 have reversed.

The drop in achievement in Scotland since 2006 is equivalent to missing 21 months of science lessons and more than 18 months of maths, according to expert analysis.


Although the UK as a whole remains above average across the 80-plus nations that participate in the benchmarking exercise, Andreas Schleicher, head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) directorate of education and skills, noted that there was significant disparity between the constituent nations, with Wales, and then Scotland, having the biggest declines.

Schleicher said that since 2018 Scotland had seen a decline of 18 points in maths — greater than the OECD average — with a total drop of 20 points since 2015. He said: “I think the last years have not been so great in Scotland.”

Once considered a leader in the field of education, Scotland now ranks average for maths and science among the participating nations. In addition, the Pisa report warns that because of the schools and students sampled, the Scottish results reflect “an upward bias of approximately nine or 10 points”.

John Jerrim, professor of education and social statistics at University College London (UCL) , said: “I think parents probably should be worried. Clearly things have not been going well in Scotland.

“The SNP has been in charge for a long time and they have introduced big reforms, to what end? Teachers have been putting in a huge amount of work to implement these things. What good has it done?”


The Pisa scores are the first to be published since the Covid-19 pandemic. Schleicher said it generally appeared that countries which offered more classroom teaching during that period had better results, but the real reasons for decline were “much more likely to be permanent features of our education systems”.


Lindsay Paterson, emeritus professor of education policy at Edinburgh University, and Jerrim both pointed to the introduction of the “curriculum for excellence” in Scotland — which focuses on teaching pupils to think for themselves more than imparting knowledge — as one of the key issues.

Paterson also noted there had been a large focus on wellbeing over learning. He said: “The amount of wellbeing instead of grounding in basic functions you see in Scotland is now showing in these catastrophic Pisa results.”


Pisa analysts consider a 20-point decrease to be equivalent to missing one year of teaching. The latest results, from tests sat by 15-year-olds at sample schools in 2022, show a 35-point drop in maths in Scotland since 2006 and a 32-point drop in science. Paterson said this compared to missing 21 months and about 18 months of teaching respectively.

He said: “That is like forcing people to leave schools when they reach the age of 14. School leaving age was raised to 15 in 1947. In some ways, we are going back that far.”

Reading has generally fared better, although improvement welcomed in 2018 by John Swinney, Scotland’s former education secretary, has now fallen away. Scotland’s score was 499 in 2006, 504 in 2018 and is now 493. The results are above average across the Pisa study.

Paterson suggested this was because reading was an area where parents were likely to be able to help most at home. He noted that pupils from the poorest backgrounds were showing the largest declines in results. He said: “It suggests to me the policy over the last decade has been particularly painful to children living in particularly deprived circumstances.”


Paterson also said there was evidence pupils in Scotland received less work to do during lockdown than children in other parts of the UK, particularly the southeast of England. Research by Francis Green, at UCL’s Institute of Education, found the percentage of pupils spending four or more hours studying at home per day in 2020 was among the lowest in Scotland when comparing parts of the UK .


The Scottish government said the Pisa reports showed the nation’s education service “has maintained its international standing”.


Jenny Gilruth, the education secretary and a former teacher, said: “As is well understood, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on our young people and their experience of learning and teaching. Pisa demonstrates this impact across the majority of countries participating

“Whilst every country in the UK has seen a reduction in its Pisa scores across maths and reading between 2018 and 2022, there will be key learning for the Scottish government and Cosla [the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities] to address jointly in responding.”

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Nicola Sturgeon says writing her memoirs is "harder than I thought it would be".


It's because you've spent your life telling lies and you're too thick to remember which are the ones that could send you to prison.

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SNP humiliation as 'nightmare before Christmas' leaves Humza Yousaf and Sturgeon reeling

Judges in Scotland have rejected an attempt to prevent details about whether Nicola Sturgeon broke the ministerial code being published.

22:47, Wed, Dec 6, 2023 | UPDATED: 10:32, Thu, Dec 7, 2023

SNP Conference 2023 - Day Two

The SNP has been left reeling by a “nightmare before Christmas” after judges rejected an attempt to block the publication of details about whether Nicola Sturgeon broke ministerial code.

The defeat capped a bad day for the SNP which also saw former leadership candidate Kate Forbes call for the coalition deal with the Greens to be axed.

The latest paper on Scottish independence was also mauled by critics as a work of “fantasy fiction” and ministers had an emergency meeting to discuss a tax hike on high-earning Scots.

After the inquiry into the Alex Salmond affair, James Hamilton concluded that Ms Sturgeon had not broken the code – although a committee of MSPs found that she had inadvertently misled them, our sister paper the Scottish Daily Express reports.

Douglas Ross calls on Humza Yousaf to sack Michael Matheson over ipad expenses scandal

Hamilton, a lawyer and independent advisor on the code, expressed frustration that his report had been heavily redacted and a member of the public asked for the full version to be released.

Click here to join our Whatsapp community to be the first to receive politics news from The Express

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