Fears raised by 
Cabinet about 
education changes

Midlothian House, the main office for Midlothian Council, Buccleuch Street, Dalkeith
Midlothian House, the main office for Midlothian Council, Buccleuch Street, Dalkeith

At last week’s Cabinet meeting at Midlothian House concerns were raised about the Scottish Government’s proposed changes to education.

Midlothian Council’s head of education Grace Vickers issued a report noting the Scottish Government education consultation report, Next Steps, which was published in June 2017, with a new education bill expected in autumn 2017.

The proposed school and teacher led system would change the role of local and central government in education.

Midlothian Council religious representative and former teacher Vic Bourne said: “I must say these are my personal thoughts but it does seem to me that perhaps the Scottish Government didn’t get the answers it was looking for when it put this consultation out.

“We seem to be centralising everything. It seems that most of the powers of the general teaching council and local authorities are going to be stripped away.

“I’m worried that we will just be left with our highly qualified and enthusiastic staff sorting the nuts and bolts, and all the quality stuff it would appear on paper is being devolved to headteachers, parents, pupils, all these lovely things that sound good. But in reality this is a centralisation of education.

“Is that really what we want? I’m really very alarmed about what I see in this document.”

Midlothian Council leader Derek Milligan (Lab) added that the “great headway” made by council officers on education in the past decade is now in “great danger”.