HOW Scottish highschool college students get their SQA outcomes this week, your front-page article says all of it (“Somerville: No Assured Hole Goal”, Aug 9).

I imagine that the alleged “hole” problem is basically a system assemble perpetuated by Shirley-Ann Somerville, the Scottish Minister for Schooling.

I count on many younger individuals, particularly these from deprived households dwelling in our post-industrial cities, to go to highschool as if they’re going via a portal into what they think about to be so alien that it appears to be a type of augmented actuality.

It has at all times been the case that not all kids get the coveted chess for his or her birthday or watch their mother and father play bridge on a comfy night.

As well as, Scotland has a really numerous setting by which kids are introduced up, so any centralized course of should be questioned.

Why, for instance, ought to younger individuals in North Uist examine and cross exams in the identical manner as they do in Selkirk? The consequence could also be handy for some finish customers, however is it at all times applicable and honest to the kid?

The requirement that each one Scottish college students take the identical examinations on the similar time, within the title of sustaining nationwide requirements and uniformity of training, should be thought-about discrimination, as kids study at totally different charges.

I imagine that the nationalized examination diets reveal the considering of the final century. If our universities are trusted to use the suitable requirements, what’s the key issue that stops academics from being trusted to make use of exams from a big nationwide financial institution, moderated by, say, an area authority?

The reply, in fact, will depend on whose title seems because the awarding physique in any certification, however can this downside be solved?

I suggest to develop an open strategy for the twenty first century in order that younger individuals can purchase {qualifications} in a way more versatile manner than the present intensive top-down prescriptions.

Highschool college students could also be allowed to decide on when to take the check. They are often given a selection of format and even the burden of the questions.

Nonetheless, I additionally count on this to be unlikely, as one of many scariest issues about training is individuals in costumes who’re the self-proclaimed apostles of the established order.

Invoice Brown, Milngavie.


Right here it’s once more – the annual grouchy celebration and political scoring over SQA outcomes.

It’s well-known that exterior elements at dwelling, resembling poverty and deprivation, often outweigh inside college elements, resembling the standard of instructing or further funding, in figuring out examination efficiency.

And the dangerous information is that the present cost-of-living disaster will make narrowing that “hole” much more elusive subsequent 12 months.

Why not simply congratulate many of the children and academics on their success and lower off the uninformed whining?

Professor Okay.B. Scott, Sterling.


A pathetic letter (August 9) from Ruth Marr, your near-weekly correspondent in Stirling, sharply criticizing her political opinions, would carry tears to glassy eyes.

By no means forgetting to level out the perceived flaws in something English or associated to Westminster, she informs us that she now not needs to learn any essential articles, which she interprets as “horrible to learn”.

The slogan “If you cannot stand the warmth, get out of the kitchen” was attributed to President Harry S. Truman. This is applicable equally to these in Stirlingshire or Washington DC.

I recall the shrill calls for of Isobel Lindsey in her prime. A minimum of she had the braveness to run for public workplace and take any blow.

About two years in the past, she had the braveness to publicly chastise her former colleagues for what she thought-about fallacious selections. This, for my part, is the essence of an actual politician.

Two years in the past, Rupert Lowe, a former Brexit MEP, stated he would welcome a interval of silence from Philip Hammond and Theresa Could.

It might be an excessive amount of to ask Ms. Marr, given the truth that she just isn’t able to even take into consideration giving weight to different political factors of view.

Robin Johnston, Newton Mearns.


I READ Ruth Marr’s final letter with anger and nice sympathy.

I’ve learn lots of her letters through the years and tremendously admire her tenacious protection of the SNP and the reason for independence. The case she cites is inevitably argumentative, and I loved studying her feedback on the continuing debate as they’re passionately restrained (if not an oxymoron) and persuasive.

Nonetheless, she could also be much less completely satisfied to study that I can not carry myself to share her final want for the political finish consequence she needs, as I discover it usually unconvincing that it’s in Scotland’s long-term curiosity to secede from the Union.

However I absolutely respect her proper to precise her views with out concern or prejudice, and I discover it appalling to study that she and her household suffered the abuse she describes.

The individuals who behaved in such a moronic and horrifying manner on each side of the abyss are utterly past the pale and ought to be rooted out by no matter self-respecting political occasion they belong to and ostracized indefinitely.

Ruth must be satisfied that almost all of the inhabitants is able to listening to each side of an argument, even one as emotional as independence, with out resorting to this contemptible habits.

I state that I’m decoding the substantive views of the Scottish voters, with out in fact having any empirical proof to assist my declare, nonetheless I categorical this as one other want that or not it’s correct and that almost all of individuals be capable to take pleasure in polemical debate with out resorting to shouting insults and issuing threats.

To melt my disagreement with Ruth’s arguments for independence, whereas I’d hesitate to take the ultimate step of secession, I’m, like many in Scotland, appalled by the deceit, lies and empty guarantees on the core of the ruling Westminster authorities. and the paucity of proof and details behind a number of the allegations put ahead by the 2 candidates of their quest for Tory management and the premiership.

Will realpolitik enjoying south of the border be a big nail within the Union’s coffin?

Craig Wishart, Eaglesham.


I CAN instinctively disagree with Ruth Marr on the independence debate, however I completely agree along with her that insults are unacceptable from anybody, it doesn’t matter what aspect they’re on.

So let’s collectively: “You say independence, I say Union, however let’s cancel all abuses” (apologies to the late George and Ira Gershwin).

However let me nonetheless chortle at Stephen Camley’s good cartoon made final November 5 through the UN local weather change convention in Glasgow. The policeman says into the radio: “We’ve got a state of affairs right here, sergeant – the primary minister has caught to little Greta. . “.

I believe the hard-working and critical Nicola Sturgeon noticed the humorous aspect too.

R Russell Smith, Largs.


Man Stenhouse’s bi-weekly opinion columns ought to be renamed “Similar Opinion” columns, as all of them essentially discuss in regards to the extravagance of the Scottish authorities with the cash allotted to Scotland beneath the Barnett system.

In yesterday’s column (“From ferries to universities, SNP sows seeds of decline”) he expands on his theme by criticizing the Scottish authorities for “giving in to unions” and for providing affordable wage will increase to varied public sector staff.

I’m wondering what number of of your readers in our social democratic nation would agree with the Scottish authorities and what number of along with your unreconstructed capitalist observer?

Sam Craig, Glasgow.


MY ideas could also be too easy for this advanced world, however I understood authorities as “the individuals who govern”.

I imagine that we’re nearly unbiased as a rustic, the UK, in our capability to supply our personal power.

In that case, and because it does not appear to me that power manufacturing now prices greater than it did final 12 months at the moment, why cannot our authorities govern – and require ours and suppliers to supply their clients with power producers? on the similar worth at the moment?

Sandy Farr, Barrhead.

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