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News Release 03Jan 2011

EIS to launch Holyrood campaign with manifesto for Education


The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) will launch its campaigning ahead of the Scottish Parliament elections with the publication of its own ‘Manifesto for Education’ next month. The EIS is politically independent and is not affiliated to any political party, so its campaign will be focused on highlighting the key issues for Scottish education in order to ensure that the pupils, parents, students, teachers and lecturers of Scotland have their collective voice heard.

Commenting, EIS General Secretary Ronnie Smith said, "The EIS Manifesto for Education will be launched ahead of the Scottish Parliamentary elections in order to ensure that education is placed at the top of the agenda for all of Scotland’s political parties. The people of Scotland take great pride in the country’s education system and hold our schools, colleges and universities in high regard."

"The EIS will be campaigning for a better deal for education, and pushing each of the political parties to set their own strong manifesto commitments which will support the high-quality education system that the people of Scotland want to continue to see.”

Mr Smith added, "The EIS will campaign for a better deal for schools, colleges and universities across Scotland so that the educational needs of young people can be met today, tomorrow and into the future. With the current financial crisis and the deep cuts to public spending, including reduced investment in education, it is vitally important that we make a stand to let the politicians know that continuing attacks on our education system cannot and will not be tolerated by the Scottish people."

"Education is vital to the future success of the country, and only by continuing to invest in our young people by providing the best educational opportunities can we secure Scotland’s future prosperity in an increasingly competitive global economy.”

Mr Smith continued, "Scottish education has continued to perform well even in the face of the many challenges created by the economic situation and the politically-motivated cuts to public sector investment. But the message we need to send to the politicians, of all parties, is that we are not prepared to take it any more."

"We will not allow the continuing decimation of Scottish education in order to pay the bill for a publically funded bail out of banks that was necessitated by the greed and dubious ethical standards of city traders and financial speculators.”

"We have already seen significant cuts to school budgets, and the situation is set to become far worse as the latest round of spending cuts bite hard. We now have thousands fewer teachers working in our schools, which leads to larger class sizes and a diluted quality of educational experience for pupils."

"Resources for schools are increasingly scarce, and there is little opportunity for teachers to undergo professional development to enhance their teaching skills. As schools work to implement the Curriculum for Excellence, these damaging cutbacks will leave teachers over-stretched and it is the pupils who will inevitably suffer the most.”

Mr Smith added, "Our colleges and universities have also seen very large cuts to their budgets, with the result that courses and lecturing jobs are under threat. Our colleges and universities play a huge role in equipping people of all ages with the education and skills that they need to allow them to contribute to society and to aid the economic recovery."

"It is short-sighted in the extreme to cut back on college and university funding at a time when we need to send more skilled and adaptable people into the nation’s workplaces.”

The EIS Manifesto for Education will be a key part of the EIS campaign in the run up to the Holyrood Elections. Other strands of the campaign will include a national advertising campaign, together with local and national campaigning across the country.

"We are making a stand for Scottish education, in order to protect our schools, colleges and universities,” said Mr Smith. "In our Manifesto for Education and associated campaigning, we will be throwing down the gauntlet to each political party in Scotland and challenging them to make a commitment to deliver the best for Scottish education, and for the pupils and students that it serves."

"In what promises to be a tight election race, it is the party than wins the hearts and minds of teachers, parents and students that will be best placed to form the next Government at Holyrood.”

For further information, contact Brian Cooper on 0131 225 6244