Hamilton Advertiser

CONS - BRYAN FLANNAGAN

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The education sector has been completely turned upside down at all levels in Scotland, and indeed, the world.

Everyone has been forced to move online, use technologi­es and software not heard of before and adapt to an ever-changing and uncertain situation.

The risks of a‘forgotten generation’of school, college and university leavers was high.

However, owing to the Herculean efforts of both students and educators from all levels, this hasn’t happened.

If elected, there are three areas that I will fight for in our education sector:

Firstly, is to ensure that schools have the teachers, support staff and resources to do their job to the full.

For too long, the number of students in classrooms has continued to increase, with all evidence showing that smaller cohorts ensure a better learning experience for pupils.

To make this a reality, my party has pledged 3000 new teachers in schools.

Second, is to inspire learners of all ages to engage in STEM (Science,technology, Engineerin­g and Mathematic­s) subjects as early and as often as possible. We know that the world is now entirely dependent upon developmen­ts in these areas and Scotland must be at the fore in developing talent and expertise.

If this is not a priority of the next Government then where will the doctors, teachers and scientists of the future come from?

Third, will be to undertake a complete review of both how education is provided and assessed in Scotland. The exam fiasco of 2020 as well as the failure to close the attainment gap between the richest and poorest of Scotland’s young people has shown that the current systems are, quite simply, not working.

Education in Scotland needs new leadership and a new strategy. These will only come with a Scottish Conservati­ve Government on May 6.

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