Thursday 1 November 2007

Who's got a wee fixation then?

Labour politicians in Scotland appear to be obsessed with the SNP plan to cut class sizes in the first three years of primary school to 18. They keep speaking about it, claiming that the SNP Government has somehow not managed to implement the promise in the manifesto.

I really must explain a Parliamentary term to them at some point - the Scottish Parliament has a fixed term of four years, and the last election was in May this year - that means that the SNP is less than six months in - still more than three and a half years to go to fill that promise.

Just how much Labour is fixated on that pledge though, became apparent yesterday. In a debate on early years and early intervention designed to give Parliament a say in how the Government's strategy to improve the life chances of all of Scotland's children, Labour ignored the issue at hand, lodged an amendment on class sizes and talked only about class sizes.

The early years (from birth to starting school, basically) are very important for the development of children and the policy in this area affects what happens all the way through the child's life. You would hope that anyone elected to represent Scots would be wanting to make sure that the policy was right, wouldn't you?

Well, not the Labour party. The irony of their fixation on class sizes is that they promised class size reductions during the eight years they were in power and failed miserably to implement that promise. Now they think an SNP Government can fix that in six months.

The SNP Government may be streets ahead of the old Labour Executive, but it still takes time to train teachers.

Here's a prediction - the pledge on class sizes will be implemented - and Labour still won't apologise.

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