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Schools and nurseries – Scottish Greens

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Emerging from the huge impact of a pandemic that has only deepened Glasgow’s inequalities, the Scottish Greens believe in an education that nurtures young people’s development and supports their resilience. In government, the Scottish Greens are ensuring increased staffing in our schools, giving teachers the time, stability and support they need to focus on their pupils and to deliver the inclusive and inspiring education that all Glasgow children need and deserve. We will never compromise to ensure the right support is available for all of our children and young people.

Meet the needs of each learner

We’re going:

  • Place the well-being of young people at the heart of the educational recovery. Children need to be ready to learn and supported to learn in the way that best meets their needs.
  • Work with our MSPs to continue to increase the number of teachers and learning support staff, so that we can reduce class sizes, so that young people are supported to learn and grow as individuals.
  • Advocate for continuous assessment based on teacher judgment as our preferred way to assess learner progress. We will support parents and guardians who wish to withdraw their children from standardized testing.
  • Ensure that every child or young person with additional support needs who would benefit from a coordinated support plan receives one, and require that all staff assigned to support people with additional needs have the appropriate training to do so effectively .
  • Make counseling accessible to all young people by establishing a right of access to school-based counseling provided by qualified mental health practitioners.
  • Support pupils at risk of falling behind and support the alternative offer for those for whom the ordinary offer does not work, in order to reduce exclusions.
  • To provide every elementary school student with regular opportunities to learn and grow through the expressive arts such as music, drama, visual arts, and dance, both as a participant and as a member of the audience.

Quality early childhood education

We’re going:

  • Work towards better early education for children by improving the qualifications, salaries and conditions of early childhood staff.
  • Support the expansion of free childcare hours and make the current offer more flexible to help parents in shift work or irregular employment to be able to use them.
  • Ensure that early learning is primarily play-based and provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor learning, small group learning, and access to local community resources such as parks and libraries
  • Pursue professional development around the creation of “gender-friendly” nurseries and strive to bring more men into the profession of early childhood education and childcare.

Schools that reflect local communities

We’re going:

  • Plan enough schools and childcare centers in areas where the population will increase and ensure that buildings are high quality flexible spaces, built to last and focused on environmental sustainability. Deliver a new primary school to support the growing residential population in the city center.
  • Continue to support the principle of local schools for local children. Examine catchment areas, including the potential for overlapping catchments, and consider what more we can do to encourage locally representative schools.
  • Foster stronger links between schools and local communities and make school facilities available to the community.
  • Increase support in schools for children from marginalized groups, including refugees and asylum seekers and LGBTI+ youth
  • Address the under-representation of racial and ethnic diversity in school staff and ensure appropriate support for teachers with disabilities.

Schools as inspiring and safe spaces for all

We’re going:

  • Review processes for measuring, reporting and addressing racist and LGBT+ bullying, sexual harassment and other abuse in schools to enable people to come forward and take a consistent zero-tolerance approach.
  • Ensure consent is taught as an essential part of sex and relationship education and make all schools LGBT+ inclusive, building on the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign.
  • Ensure that the educational and social opportunities available at school are accessible to young people who are new to Glasgow
  • Ensure classrooms are Covid secure and properly ventilated and heated.

Reduce the cost of the school day

We’re going:

  • Implement a school uniform policy in Glasgow that addresses affordability, accessibility, environmental impact and does not discriminate on the basis of a protected characteristic. We will support uniform banks and reuse or rental/hire services, ensure access to warm jackets and outerwear, and keep under review the adequacy of school clothing subsidies.
  • Maintain and promote free instrumental music lessons, primary school swimming lessons, Bikeability training and subsidized outdoor and nature-based education offered by the Blairvadach Outdoor Centre.
  • Continue to support holiday food and activity programs.
  • Ensure that the experiences offered to children and youth are diverse and reflect everyone in the school community, and are not dependent on parental income or the fundraising capacity of schools.
  • Expand Family Income Maximization Teams attached to schools and nurseries, helping low-income households access the social security benefits to which they are entitled.

Support the growth of Gàidhlig Medium Education (GME)

We’re going:

  • Provide additional school and manpower capacity to meet the growing demand for Gàidhlig Middle Education (GME), by committing to a fifth GME primary school and a larger or additional secondary school, and lifting the ceiling of 140 P1 places as soon as possible.
  • Invest in outreach capacity to support families so they can fully support children with the school curriculum.
  • Maintain a GME working group with parent representatives on an ongoing basis.

Acting for the climate in schools and nurseries

We’re going:

  • Aim to reduce car journeys to school by more than 50%, with all schools supported to develop a sustainable travel plan. All primary schools will have measures in place to slow or reduce traffic around schools, and we will support pedestrian and cycle buses.
  • Reduce plastic and food waste and increase recycling opportunities in schools.
  • Create food culture spaces in schools and connect students to food justice and sustainability issues. We will develop an action plan to reduce food-related emissions and promote local, ethical, organic and plant-based food in schools.
  • Ensure that career advice has a strong focus on supporting a just transition to a low-carbon economy and works towards just transition apprenticeships and traineeships.

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