Hustings - education

Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk 'Green candidate Pauline Stewart
Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk 'Green candidate Pauline Stewart

Solutions to improve education were sought by the audience after a report highlighted Scotland’s education system trailing behind Poland and Hungary.

Education is a matter devolved to the Scottish Parliament, therefore not a direct concern for Scottish MPs in Westminster, however, most ocandidates had strong views on the issue.

“There is no ambition in secondary schools in the Borders, said Pauline Stewart (Greens), whose admission that she was so concerned about standards in local schools she had reluctantly sent daughter to private school did not go down well with some sections of the audience.

Michael Moore said that his oldest daughter was about to start primary school and his youngest about to start state supported child care, and he emphasised the need to get education right from the very start “otherwise life gets much harder”. He then addressed the Lib Dem’s ‘elephant in the room’ - tuition fees.

“We said we wanted to see them abolished and I apologise for turning on that,” said Mr Moore

“We needed to balance the books and needed to make choices between reducing the number of pupils getting into higher education or them paying fees.”

Labour’s Kenryck Lloyd-Jones responded: “Balancing the books isn’t a reason to pile young people with debt.”