John McLellan misses the bigger picture on education - your views

"Children need more than good schools to close the attainment gap. They also need secure and stable family environments, which are undermined by Tory policies”

Saturday, 27th March 2021, 7:00 am

Missing the bigger picture on education

John McLellan (News, March 25) ignores the fact that educational attain-ment is not solely the product of the education system in Scotland but the surrounding social and economic environment in which people attempt to raise families.

With the rise of in-work poverty caused by his Tory government’s austerity policies, including the roll out of Universal Credit, many families are struggling to feed children and are facing mounting debt.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

This is easily seen in the rising use of food banks in Scotland which have nearly doubled in the five years from 2015-2020 according to the Trussell Trust.

Children need more than good schools to close the attainment gap. They also need secure and stable family environments, which are undermined by Tory policies. An independent Scotland would have the levers of economic power to mitigate childhood poverty and reduce inequality.

Tory policies such as Brexit inflicted on Scotland with no democratic legitimacy will cause even more economic pain for struggling families in the years ahead. Time for Scotland to get out of the UK.

Mairianna Clyde, Merchiston Crescent, Edinburgh.

E-bikes and scooters need more controls

A 29-year-old man has been charged with illegally riding an electric scooter on the road in Dumfries. At long last the police are acting against this growing hazard.

There is at present a trial using hired E-scooters, mechanically restricted to 15.5mph, in towns and cities. However, trials in England were stopped when E-scooters were ridden at speed illegally on pavements and in shopping malls. Tellingly no arrests were made despite cameras.

Soon privately owned E-scooters will be allowed on the roads and they can easily be tampered with to give speeds of up to 30mph.

Dangerous and selfish cyclists, E-cyclists and E-scooter riders are becoming far too common. They should be forced to have visible identification, be insured and required to pass a road test.

Taxpayers have paid millions for cycle facilities. These modes of transport are expensive to purchase, so the owners can afford to pay an annual road tax.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow.

Not a proud record Covid government

The Tory record in govern-ment is a story of constant U-turns and botched policies - A-levels, school meals, foreign health workers and more.

Go to work. Don’t go to work. Paying citizens to “eat out to help out” in the midst of a deadly pandemic.

Stitch up the NHS in the morning and then clap for them at night.

A government opening schools for a single day, threatening to sue schools, shutting schools. A country locking down too late, opening up too early, sending its elderly to die in care homes, not feeding its own hungry children.

On top of this a government wasting £37bn on track and trace that didn’t work, then claiming it can’t afford to pay nurses more than one per cent.

Billions more wasted on useless PPE equipment that left hospital staff defenceless.

The run-up to Christmas was a catastrophe of mismanagement that left 30,000 people dead in January. Are we supposed to just forget this?

Johnson selling us the story of “I did my best, let’s fly the flag, be proud of our country, forget the deaths” – the not-so-amiable ‘amiable buffoon’, misdirecting our attention, with a second-rate magician’s sleight of hand, so contracts worth billions can go to friends.

Anne Wimberley, Belmont Road, Edinburgh.