Investing in education is one of the most vital elements of the Liberal Democrat plan to put recovery first.
It’s critical because we need to equip people with the skills that they need to get the economy back on track.
It’s vital because education is a key element in the fight against poverty.
Liberal Democrats will help the poorest pupils who have suffered most during the pandemic.
We persuaded the Scottish Government to give more money to help disadvantaged children in school. We will make those funds permanent so that schools can employ teachers and support staff on permanent contracts.
We will reform pre-school education, to extend a full-time kindergarten stage from 2 years old to ensure they acquire important learning and social skills before formal schooling starts age 7.
We will restore colleges to a powerful role in local economic development, training people of all ages in the skills they need to start (or change) careers. New grants will help people retrain if they need to. It’s a real shame that the SNP ran down and centralised colleges, reducing opportunity for women and less advantaged groups. We need them more than ever to equip people with skills to adapt to new industries.
This year’s school leavers have completed their entire education under an SNP Government which has let standards slip. Our ambitious programme for schools, colleges and universities will reduce the attainment gap and get Scottish education rising up the international rankings again.
Caron Lindsay, Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Almond Valley
This article first appeared in the West Lothian Courier