In­vest­ing in the fu­ture of our chil­dren must be a pri­or­ity of this Gov­ern­ment

Rutherglen Reformer - - Memory Lane - Holy­rood Head­lines

The gov­ern­ment’s pri­or­ity must be to in­vest in the fu­ture for our chil­dren.

In Scot­land we are proud to have fan­tas­tic schools and col­leges and some of the world’s top uni­ver­si­ties.

When­ever I get to visit schools in the con­stituency, I al­ways leave im­pressed by the ded­i­ca­tion, care and sup­port of teach­ers and staff.

Mak­ing sure the gov­ern­ment de­liv­ers on ed­u­ca­tion for pupils and par­ents has al­ways been a pri­or­ity of mine.

Two weeks ago, the Ruther­glen Re­former re­vealed how col­lege stu­dents in Ruther­glen were forced to launch a pe­ti­tion be­cause their course was be­ing dis­con­tin­ued.

Ab­bie Johnstone and Hannah Len­nox, drama stu­dents at Glas­gow Kelvin Col­lege, faced cuts to their route into a BA de­gree with no time left to ap­ply else­where.

I hear sto­ries like Ab­bie’s and Hannah’s all too of­ten as an MSP, from a lack of places to stu­dents hav­ing to drop out be­cause they can’t get the sup­port they need.

The SNP’s re­port card on col­leges isn’t one to be proud of.

Fig­ures re­leased by Kezia Dug­dale at First Min­is­ter’s ques­tions show that since the SNP took of­fice in 2007, stu­dent bur­saries and sup­port grants have been slashed by £40 mil­lion and stu­dent debt has dou­bled. There are 140,000 fewer col­lege places and staffing lev­els are down.

Stu­dents across Scot­land are get­ting the grades they need to be­come doc­tors, nurses and en­gi­neers, but they are be­ing forced to bor­row more and more just to keep go­ing.

Labour has a bold plan for Scot­land’s ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem: we pledge to in­crease the top rate of in­come tax when the pow­ers are de­volved, to in­crease col­lege fund­ing.

I hope the SNP will sup­port it – it’s the right thing to do for our young peo­ple. Exam time

Lo­cal mums and dads will have had a nail-bit­ing few weeks as pupils across Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang sat their Na­tional 4/5, Higher and Ad­vanced Highers. And as soon as the ex­ams are over, the count­down be­gins un­til the re­sults come out

Visit James Kelly MSP with ap­pren­tices and me­chan­ics, along­side Paul Bryceland, ser­vice manager at Ruther­glen Ford Fiat (right) and Ian Tay­lor group op­er­a­tions manager and head of au­to­mo­tive at GTG Train­ing (left)

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