Christine Grahame’s View – Education

Thursday April 22nd 2021


Midlothian View Holyrood Challenge: This View has been written by Christine Grahame, the Scottish National Party's candidate in the Midlothian South, Tweeddale & Lauderdale constituency for the Scottish Elections on Thursday May 6th 2021

As a working-class lass, the eldest of a family of five children, I knew from an early age the value of education. Thankfully then, as now, the state provided free education but after leaving school right after my highers at the age of 17 I went to work in an insurance company.

Frankly, I wanted some money for nice clothes as we were pretty hard up. However, young as I was, I took a tumble to myself when I saw that men were being promoted right left and centre but the women were mainly furnishing the typing pool. (Predates the phrase “glass ceiling) so I left and went to Uni. After that I became a secondary teacher then as a mature student took a law degree and practiced as a solicitor.

I had choices because the state through our taxes made it possible. The same is true today. The SNP government has put its neck on the line about closing what is known as the “attainment gap” helping children from less prosperous backgrounds to reach their potential whatever that turns out to be. I was never in a million years going to be athletic.

That help starts young. The Baby Box for all new borns, early years free nursery up to 1140 hours from August, free school meals P1-P3, and now electronic devices for every pupil in Scotland and access to the internet, together with no university tuition fees shows the SNP government putting that pledge into action. You also need decent school buildings for staff and pupils alike. Good teachers can teach anywhere but it certainly helps. So, we have the first phase of a building progamme with Beeslack Community School to be followed by Penicuik High.

Last but not in the least, there are those in my former profession who teach for the love of it. Let me end by thanking them for all they have done for their charges especially during this lockdown.

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