28 Nov 2012

Post-16 Bill Raises Concerns Over Centralisation of Power
News from Scottish Labour - 28 November 2012

Responding to the publication of the Scottish Government's 'Post-16 Education (Scotland) Bill', Scottish Labour's Hugh Henry MSP, said:

“Reform of post-16 education is required, but given the way Mike Russell has behaved, it raises concerns about the centralisation of power in the hands of the Cabinet Secretary.

“The proposed savings will take a substantial amount of time to be delivered, but in the meantime, colleges are having their funding slashed by the SNP at a time when youth unemployment remains stubbornly high. The draft legislation is merely cover for these cuts.

“The sector’s confidence and support for the Education Secretary is at an all-time low. He misleads Parliament about funding and hauls college chiefs into private meetings to demand their resignations. Giving him statutory powers seems like the last thing we should be considering.

“Let us be in no doubt: forced mergers will not solve the funding crisis in colleges and the SNP need to face up to their choice of prioritising university places over colleges which now have 70,000 fewer students and thousands unable to find a place. This is not a record of success for the SNP.”