The Devolution Trap 225

For the many who expressed kind concern at the bureaucratic impasse involved in Cameron starting his new school, I should update you with the good news. Cameron was able to start on time in the local school, and I am very happy to say that both staff and pupils have been extremely friendly and helpful. Which does not obviate the daftness of the system which makes it impossible to get more than a day’s notice of acceptance, but we are getting over the problems that caused.

But I have also to say that I am genuinely shocked that Cameron took the 33rd place in his class, which is now full. Class size is a very major factor in pupil achievement and I am perplexed to find these Victorian levels of pupil/teacher ratio still surviving in 2019.

This is illustrative of the trap that is devolution within the UK. The SNP devotes the large majority of its resource as a party to attempting to manage vital services within the UK settlement through government in Holyrood, and does so with competence and professionalism. But a decade of austerity and budget squeeze, and still more the profound economic malaise caused by the sucking out of Scottish capital and human resource by London over centuries, make it an impossible task.

Within the UK, Scotland will never have the economic resources at the disposal of its government which will enable it to provide public services of the standard its people ought to expect.

If you look at nations comparable to Scotland, these are the primary school pupil teacher ratios

Denmark 10.7
Sweden 12.1
Norway 9.01

The reason the devolution trap is so deadly is that it seduces the SNP into expending its energies in genuinely well meaning attempts to mitigate the disastrous public sector climate of Tory UK. It is very easy in these circumstances for Scottish ministers to become over-proud of tiny achievements in making life better for people, and miss the big picture.

The big picture is that within the UK Scotland will never escape the drain on its economic resources and subsequent impoverishment, and will never fulfill its economic potential. Meanwhile, in trying to run public services within the context of Tory austerity, those services are simply bound to be inadequate and the SNP ends up taking the blame for failures created deliberately in Westminster.

Devolution has run its course. There is no devo-max solution that will make things better. It is time to forget all ideas of making the UK less disastrous, and to concentrate all energies on one thing and one thing only: Independence.


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225 thoughts on “The Devolution Trap

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  • Lars

    > While Scotland has a significantly worse pupil/teacher ratio than even England and Wales.

    The article shows the teacher/pupil ratio, so higher numbers are better. Scotland has a significantly better pupil/teacher ratio than England and Wales.

    • craig Post author

      Thanks. You are right and I have amended the article – it is mistated in the National headline and first line as pupil/teacher ratio when it means teacher/pupil!

  • N_

    The reason the devolution trap is so deadly is that it seduces the SNP into expending its energies in genuinely well meaning attempts to mitigate the disastrous public sector climate of Tory UK.

    That’s very vague. I’ll guess at what it means. Does “energies” mean “money” and “disastrous public sector climate” mean “corruption”? Is the idea that an “SNP iScotland” could fund widespread improvements in public services without raising taxes for most of the population because they would no longer have to use their ever so clean hands to put money into wheelbarrows for Tories to take away?

    • kathy

      Yes, “energies” does indeed mean “money” among other things such as hard work, ingenuity and compassion. “Disastrous public sector climate” means London corrupt Tory rule, resulting in the intentional deaths of thousands of poor people. The idea is that an “SNP iScotland” could fund widespread improvements in public services by using the “wheelbarrows” of money we will save after independence by not having to give it all to theTories to take away. I, personally can’t wait for the day the union flag is finally lowered over Edinburgh Castle signifying our freedom from the whole, stinking corrupt mess that constitutes the British state.

      • N_

        So I understood perfectly then. But is it just higher taxes that the National Party will be able to do without when they use all the money supposedly currently being looted from Scotland by “London Tory” foreigners to spend on improving conditions for almost everyone in Scotland, or will they be able to do without raising public-sector borrowing as well?

        Perhaps as the Union flag is lowered over the royal castle that you mentioned, taxes will fall, state borrowing will also fall, AND public spending will rise?

        I have to observe again that as a matter of fact and not opinion Tory voters are not proportionally concentrated in London or the wider London area.

        In your opinion was the huge overspend on the Scottish Parliament building a result of looting by London Tories from compassionate Scottish officials who were utterly honest in their handling of public money but too terrified to expose what was going on?

        • Brian Fleming

          “In your opinion was the huge overspend on the Scottish Parliament building a result of looting by London Tories from compassionate Scottish officials who were utterly honest in their handling of public money but too terrified to expose what was going on?”

          No. It was the result of the incompetence and perfidiousness of the Labour Party. And paid for by Scottish tax payers. Another Union benefit.

        • kathy

          No, you don’t seem to understand at all – either perfectly or imperfectly. Of course, it won’t happen overnight and no doubt higher taxes will be necessary in the long run (after all, we have been under the heel of the English for 300 years) and obviously, as a consequence of this, public-sector borrowing would have to rise too (something we are banned from doing at the moment.

          Nowhere did I suggest that Tory voters were mostly concentrated in London as I believe , rightly or wrongly, that London is largely labour. By using the expression “London Tory rule”, I was simply alluding to the self-evident fact that power is heavily concentrated in London and also parliament along with royalty and all the other trappings of power.

          Finally, as someone else has helpfully pointed out, the huge over-spend on the Holyrood parliament was the fault of New Labour (another craven unionist party) and certainly not the SNP.

          • N_

            I’ll leave the following as it stands, @Kathy, and leave you to saying illogical stuff to coat your chauvinism in the clothes of rationality. I recall your insistence that the Tory vote really was proportionally concentrated in the London area despite facts to the contrary being adduced. (Citation follows.) Nationalism causes rabies and affects perception. It’s always xenophobic.

            Does ‘energies’ mean ‘money’ and ‘disastrous public sector climate’ mean ‘corruption’? Is the idea that an “SNP iScotland” could fund widespread improvements in public services without raising taxes for most of the population because they would no longer have to use their ever so clean hands to put money into wheelbarrows for Tories to take away?

            Yes, ‘energies’ does indeed mean ‘money’ among other things such as hard work, ingenuity and compassion. ‘Disastrous public sector climate’ means London corrupt Tory rule, resulting in the intentional deaths of thousands of poor people. The idea is that an ‘SNP iScotland’ could fund widespread improvements in public services by using the ‘wheelbarrows’ of money we will save after independence by not having to give it all to theTories to take away. I, personally can’t wait for the day the union flag is finally lowered over Edinburgh Castle signifying our freedom from the whole, stinking corrupt mess that constitutes the British state.

            So I understood perfectly then.

            No, you don’t seem to understand at all

            I really do not enjoy such exchanges on the internet or anywhere.

            Then you say

            Nowhere did I suggest that Tory voters were mostly concentrated in London as I believe , rightly or wrongly, that London is largely labour.

            I said “proportionally concentrated”. And you did say what I say you did. Don’t you remember stuff? Here’s what you wrote on 23 January 2019:

            I should have added except for London and the south east which do indeed get special treatment to the detriment of the rest of the country (most of the tory voters live in that region after all)” (emphasis added)

            And I had to point out that you were deeply mistaken regarding the distribution of the Tory vote. I helpfully wrote:

            Out of the 9 English regions (Yorkshire and Humber, NW, NE, SW, SE, E, East Midlands, West Midlands, London), the one with the smallest percentage of voters voting Tory in the 2017 general election was London.

            Rather than accept the correction with grace, you typed “I am aware that there is also a lot of poverty existing side by side with obscene wealth but I think overall it is true what I said.”

            So it is a bit rich for you now to explain to me that London is largely Labour.

  • John2o2o

    Thank you Craig for the update on your son’s situation. I’m very pleased to hear that Cameron has found a place in his local school. It’s good to read some good news for a change.

    “Within the UK, Scotland will never have the economic resources at the disposal of its government which will enable it to provide public services of the standard its people ought to expect.”

    Yes, I agree that this is inevitably true.

  • Willie

    Too right Craig. The Scottish Government can only spend the Austerity budget that is given by Westminster.

    That said, and this is something I would like the SG to address is for them to look at the absolutely wasteful and criminally corrupt Councils that litter our country,

    From the building and works department who openly steal brand new materials to then scrap for a few quid, to the overpayment of Council contractors for kickbacks, to the backhanders for development approval it’s all there.

    Or what about the rite of passage sweetheart pension enhancements for senior executives. They don’t just retire, but rather go on efficiency grounds thereby getting potentially hundreds of thousands in top up, whilst carers get screwed for every last penny. Or the ghost shifts or un-entitled overtime payments, or the effective three or four hour working day delivered by many.

    If the SG could seriously look at the efficiency of our local authorities, rather than covering up to say everything is all right, then I think we could get much more bang for our buck. Council corruption and inefficiency adds to our austerity.

    Otherwise, great to hear that you got Cameron into a school – but with Victorian class sizes of 33 the difference between Scotland and Nordic countries like Norway, Denmark and Sweden become stark.

    Better together – eh?

  • Clark

    Thanks for the good news Craig; I hope things are going well at your building site new home!

  • Thepnr

    “But a decade of austerity and budget squeeze, and still more the profound economic malaise caused by the sucking out of Scottish capital and human resource by London over centuries, make it an impossible task.”

    There can be few arguments over this, Scotland requires control over it’s own destiny before improvements can be made. Right now the Scottish government is working under constraints imposed on them by Tory government policies. Unsustainable and a wrong that needs putting right.

  • Kempe

    Yes Scotland’s figure of 7.495 teachers per 100,000 pupils is better, significantly better, than the 5,586 teachers per 100,000 in England.

    The Scottish education system has always been a devolved issue so responsibility lies with Holyrood.

    • Thepnr

      Shame though that the cash the Scottish government have available for all devolved issues including education is the responsibility of Westminster.

      • Republicofscotland

        That’s the crux of the matter, independence is key to alowing Scotland to use all the levers of power a government needs. Until we are independent we cannot achieve this.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    On a wider note – it seems that ( I assume) that if the oil resources of Scotland are comparable to that of Norway – then some considerable socio-economic good could befall Scotland. Assuming again – good management and allocation of resources.

    Just a thought.

    • Republicofscotland

      Alas consecutive Westminster governments have squandred the vast majority of the wealth from the North sea, and buried a vital report, the McCrone report, which said at the time a independent Scotland would have an embarrassment of wealth due to oil.

      Of course Norway did set up a oil fund which is worth a staggering amount now.

      However there’s still a fair bit of oil and gas to be recovered from the North sea, this being one example.

      I must say I’m rather perturbed that the entire unionist media machine is now reporting on such finds in the North sea, for years they’ve denied that any oil or gas was left in the North sea, or it was running out on a daily basis.

      It’s probably the case that most folk in Scotland now know the British media machine is pumping out nothing more than lies and propaganda.

      • N_

        A pamphlet on “Exposing Unionist, Corporate and Government Propaganda Regarding Scottish Oil” by the former chief oil economist at the Royal Bank of Scotland who went on to become leader of the National Party and Scotland’s First Minister might be interesting. C’mon Alex, blow it all apart – all the PR about Scottish oil that has been put out by unionists, the Seven Sisters, OPEC, the City of London, and those who keep their mitts on the Norwegian Oil Fund.

        • Rhys Jaggar

          Well, there are buying opportunities right now as US oil majors divest from the North Sea.

          Clearly Scots with optimism should be making cogent bids to bring some north sea fields under Caledonian control?

    • N_

      About three-quarters of the oil extracted from the Earth is used either as transport fuel (most of it) or for heating (a small proportion). Most of that transport fuel is petrol for cars.

      Funny how the Greens are propping up the SNP minority government, but there you go.

      Assessing oil reserves is a complex task. There are different categories of reserves, depending on how easy they are to extract, how costly they are to extract, and with what probability they are believed to exist. Britain as a whole is usually said to have about a third or a half of the “proven” reserves of Norway, and less than 1% of the similarly assessed reserves of Venezuela.

      • geoff

        how about we just leave the oil and gas down there and do our little bit of stopping ruining the planet.

        • N_


          🙂 Or does the higher level of “compassion” that @Kathy seems to believe that SNP politicians feel in comparison to the corrupt “London Tories” go completely out of the window when money is involved?

          • Republicofscotland

            A noble gesture of which I agree is the right path to choose, however, a independent Scotland not taking advantage of an asset such as this for the right reasons, is akin to having a house hold that uses solar electricity in a city where everyone else has a coal fire.

            The rest of the world will never give up its fossil fuels, not until we are at the precipice, and staring into the abyss, by then it will be far too late.

      • Hatuey

        “About three-quarters of the oil extracted from the Earth is used either as transport fuel (most of it) or for heating (a small proportion). Most of that transport fuel is petrol for cars.”

        If you have a source for that, I’d like to see it. I have connections in the oil industry who tell me that most of the profits come from plastics. They also tell me that petrol stations make most of their money from selling sweets and crisps.

        Don’t suppose it really matters as far as independence is concerned. We know that a country roughly the same size as Scotland but with less oil resources (norway) is one of the richest on earth and has banked over a trillion on the basis of its oil.

        • N_

          Please don’t insult me and then ask me for a source a short while later. What you say after you ask for a source suggests you have misunderstood the statements anyway. They weren’t to do with where most of the profit comes from; they were about what most of the extracted oil is used for. If you think most extracted oil goes to make plastics, you know little about the oil sector. If your connections have even basic knowledge they will be able to confirm what I said, which is common knowledge throughout the sector, as is the complexity of defining reserves.

      • Republicofscotland

        “Funny how the Greens are propping up the SNP minority government, but there you go.”

        Its the game of politics, of course the Greens back the SNP on mattters of independence because they want it as well.

        However the Greens ask their price in return through policy.

        • N_

          Yes, sure, political parties do deals, but what might the Greens’ price be for backing an SNP government that produces as its platform in a second referendum campaign an independence proposal that envisages an economic policy principally based on selling oil, three-quarters of which is used as transport fuel or for heating? (Especially given that the said government has already declared a “climate emergency”.)

    • grafter

      The theft of Scotland’s oil over the past 50 years by multi-national companies aided and abetted by successive Labour and Tory governments is the biggest crime perpetrated against Scotland’s economy. Swept under the carpet by the BBC and an MSM owned and used by the very people who grow wealthier by the day we are now fed the lie that austerity is the only path to follow for relieving our present condition. With the abolition of Petroleum Revenue Tax on all new fields after March 1993. oil companies and their shareholders have been enriching themselves from Scotland’s oil ever since and continue to do so under a corrupt Westminster regime. This blatant theft of revenue from Scotland’s economy must be first on the agenda to bring this situation to an end.

  • dearieme

    “Class size is a very major factor in pupil achievement”: I went through primary school in a class of 45.

    Only three of us went on to win University medals in mathematics. Just think how many we’d have won if the class had been smaller.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      The lessons from Finland suggest strong pre school care, treating children as children and providing specialist support are fairly critical too. They only start school at seven and start reading late. Finns think thst children sitting in classrooms is very unhealthy, that long school days are counterproductive and lots of homework when young is not advisable.

      They believe in Less is More.

      So do I….

      • mogabee

        Schoolchildren in Scotland have more relaxed lessons and much has changed recently. Never see kids sitting at desks anymore except at breaks and more likely to be tables grouped together. Homework is not expected in primary either. All local schools near me have much outdoor learning.

        • Deepgreenpuddock

          These are recent developments but welcome of course ,but there is still a problem with ‘British’ (used advisedly) style intensity/competitiveness of the school experience.

  • Michael Droy

    Some odd comments for a historian.

    Victorian schools, or rather non-private schools started only in 1891.
    There could be 70 or 80 pupils in a class.
    TA’s (Teaching assistants) might be 13 years old. 5 years of that might qualify them as teachers.

    Your son will undoubtedly have a TA (adult) as well as a teacher in the class room. They are miserably paid – I did it for 3 months – probably because it is ideal hours for Mothers with small children. This was 2009, following 12 consecutive years of Labour government. But they are still paid miserably.
    You can’t compare your 33 number with 9 in Denmark. Any more than the Scottish school that recently closed with 2 students. Even the “per teacher” part isn’t comparable.

    But be sure the best way to have lower pupil numbers in your son’s class is to move to a poorer neighbourhood where the locals will all benefit from having an intelligent well behaved middle class boy with strong parental support to set a good example to his peers.

      • Republicofscotland

        The Scottish Education act of 1496, under James IV, made schooling compulsory, the first in the world.

        The act was passed by the Scottish parliament, no union in sight.

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          You can issue a Royal decree without fundamentally changing facts on the ground. From Tom Devine’s book referencing Rab Houston’s work on educational standards in the 1750’s, ” … Scottish literacy levels were no higher than those for northern England (though much superior to England and Wales taken as a whole).”
          I think this is a Calvinist thing. Remember, it was some fringe Yorkshire sect that dobb’d Lord MacKay in to the Wee Free for having the audacity to attend a funeral in a Catholic chapel.

  • mrjohn

    I went to state schools in the UK from the late 60s to the early 80s, the classes up to O level were all around 32 pupils & one teacher.

    The lower ratio in gov statistics was achieved by calling dinner ladies & caretakers teachers.

  • Hatuey

    Good to hear the young squire got into school okay, Craig. I did try to tell you that it would all work out but at the time you would have been wound up to the eyeballs, I’m sure, and confused my remarks for more ordinary, well-meaning support.

    Scotland is oriented as an economy and country for wealth extraction and it has been for years, much like say Cuba was vis a vis the US before Castro. On that basis, success is measured here in terms of how much we benefit our dominant neighbour. It wasn’t until recently that we were encouraged to pretend Scotland had its own economy and interests that were distinct. The reality is that we are a subsidiary within the Union.

    Imagine running a business like that, on behalf of some other business, with all the profits and decision making given over to the dominant holding company. Yes, these relationships exist everywhere in the business world and they work just fine… for the holding company.

  • SoTexGuy

    Good news for your family..

    I can say with direct experience that the situation here where I live is very much the same in terms of class size. In addition we are seeing what I and others of my generation would describe as a deteriorating standard of education in primary and secondary schools. Unlike what you describe in Scotland, here there does not seem to be any shortage of funding. The local taxpayers approve any initiatives and state and federal funds plus private grants amount to the tens of millions. Our district has perhaps 40,000 students. Many of these mostly great kids it has to be noted are not residents, they cross from Mexico for free education and other public school-related benefits.

    So, if funding is not the base issue (here) what other causes are behind excessive class-size and poor results? Any insight appreciated.

    Keep up the good works.

    • Hatuey

      Shortage of teachers perhaps would explain classs sizes. I’m not in the least anti-immigrant but often immigrants do pull down the mean in terms of performance, and that’s largely down to language barriers. These averages wouldn’t reveal that your kid could be getting taught and educated very well in a school or class that has an expectedly low performance mean due to the number of immigrants therein.

      It’s hard to discuss this without sounding nasty, but, I stress, I have no issue with immigrants. The measuring system doesn’t help.

      • Deepgreenpuddock

        I am sure you are mistaken about the effect of immigrant children in Scottish schools. I speak from experience, not from preconceptions.

        • Hatuey

          The only effect of immigrant children on education that I referred to was in reducing the mean. I haven’t said anything to suggest they pull down standards per se.

          I speak from experience too. In my experience, kids from northern Iraq suffering from PTSD find English more difficult than kids from Bearsden. And because just about everything is in English, which is their second language, they often struggle with everything until their English improves.

  • Mr Shigemitsu

    Dear Craig,

    The essential problem for Scotland, as it is for any English local authority, or indeed any nation in the Eurozone, is that it is a currency user, as opposed to a currency issuer.

    The UK Govt is the currency issuer, and thereby has the ability to purchase any and all goods and services available in the economy for sale in sterling, including all health, education, infrastructure but because it has been run by austerians, and even in the event that Johnson abandons the foolish mission to achieve a balanced budget, or, heaven forbid, a budget surplus, there is little likelihood that he will target his extra spending in the direction of the public good, as opposed to tax cuts for higher earners and the wealthy.

    So, in the absence of a UK (Corbynite?) Govt that sees the need to deficit spend if necessary in order to restore the public realm to, at the very least, the levels seen under New Labour, if not greater, then Scottish independence would seem the only escape. This, however, will only work if Scotland introduced its own soveriegn, fiat, non-convertible, free-floating currency from day one. Not Sterling, not the Euro, nor a Sterling, Euro, Dollar, or Gold peg either.

    That’s the only way you will have the ability to decide your own spending levels without outside interference from a vengeful rUK, an EU with austerity baked into its non-revokeable treaties, or the shenanigans of the currency speculating markets. Anything else is doomed to failure.

    Good luck!


    • Mr Shigemitsu

      Post-Independence, the constraints that the Scottish economy will then experience will not be monetary – because the supply of the Scottish currency its central bank creates will be theoretically infinite – but that of *real* resources (labour, materials, land, energy, etc).

      If the Scottish Govt wanted to prioritise Education, and class sizes within it, it would need to not only increase spending, but increase and/or maximise the *real* educational sector resources of teachers and support staff, school buildings and facilities, goods and materials, etc etc.

      This might take some time becasue all of these resources are finite in number and extra recruitment and training would take some time, but as a one-off, at-a-stroke move, the best course of action would be to immediately nationalise and take in to the public sector all of the private schools in Scotland. Those real resources will become immediately available to the State, and can then be shared out equally amongst its citizens according to need instead of depth of wallet.

      (The same common sense approach would apply to Health, with the immediate nationalisation of private hospitals and any other private health resources handed to the Scottish NHS.)

      *Real* resources – i.e. the capacity of the real economy to absorb any increased public spending without causing inflation – are the true limits to how much a government with its own currency can spend – not how much of its own currency it decides to hoover out of circulation via taxes.

      • MJ

        “the supply of the Scottish currency its central bank creates”

        No sign yet of this mystery currency.

        • Mr Shigemitsu

          Indeed. That’s because Scotland is not yet independent, nor has it decided on which currency to adopt, should it ever become so.

          I would have thought it was clear from my comment that I was describing a possible future eventuality.

      • John Sholton

        Would nationalising all the private schools in Scotland – which in practice means eliminating them – not infringe international human rights law, which specifies that parents should be free to choose how their children should be educated?
        Is there any free country in the world which in effect bans private schooling?

        • Jimmeh

          If there is any such international human rights law (i.e. governments must permit the private buying and selling of education). This seems unlikely to me, because it would conflict directly with policies of both governments and oppositions around the world.

          I’m aware of human rights law that parents can take responsibility for the moral and religious education of their children.
          That’s not the same as a “human rights” entitlement to buy a private education. I’d be interested to know what other provision you were referring to.

        • Jen

          I recall reading on some websites that all primary and secondary schools are public schools and private schools are at least discouraged if not banned.

        • Mr Shigemitsu

          I have no idea, but any country is constrained by the limits of its real resources, and a small country even more so.

          If you are seeking independence in order to create a more equitable society after decades of what is considered by Indy-minded Scots to be externally imposed, neo-liberal, Thatcherite austerity, then you will need to maximize every possible *real* resource at the govt’s disposal (at least until increased spending and investment can successfully expand the supply of real resources, and therefore the capacity of the economy), and furthermore, ensure that that resource is distributed on the basis of need and not wealth.

          Craig’s 33 to a class primary school is symptomatic of both under-resourced, and, because we know that there are 15 to a class private prep schools in Scotland, inequitably distributed real resources in the Scottish education sector.

          If you prefer the unfair status quo, that’s fine. But then why bother to become independent?

    • Hatuey

      “That’s the only way you will have the ability to decide your own spending levels without outside interference from a vengeful rUK, an EU with austerity baked into its non-revokeable treaties, or the shenanigans of the currency speculating markets.”

      This, with all due respect, is utter nonsense. The currency markets and other markets will punish any country that, as they see it, is printing money and servicing its debts with that printed money.

      Even the strongest currencies are subject to those sort of pressures and constraints, as well as others — i.e. inflationary pressure in domestic markets, pushing up costs of living, wages, and everything else.

      It wasn’t that long ago that some people were predicting the US would suffer an “inflationary holocaust” as a result of quantitative easing, for example. Then everyone realised that QE wouldn’t necessarily increase the money in circulation and was a good alternative way to stimulate certain parts of the economy.

      In general terms, currencies are underpinned by productivity. Things get tricky when you have low or diminishing productivity alongside rising unemployment and welfare costs, etc., and you start trying to game the system by printing money. Borrowing isn’t the same as printing money.

      • Mr Shigemitsu

        No one is talking about “printing money”. That’s archaic.

        The way the UK govt spends is by “creating money”. It does this every single day, simply by instructing the BoE to add some ones and zeroes to the reserve accounts of the banks of the initial recipients of that spending. This is done at a keystroke. There is no “pot” of money, or Chancellor’s “war chest” sitting at the Treasury to be raided each time the govt wants to spend.

        Neither does the equivalent amount of tax need to be levied before the spending can occur, because whenever taxes are paid, an opposite “reserve drain” operation at the BoE occurs, where ones and zeroes are deducted from the reserve accounts of the taxpayer’s bank. But a reserve drain operation can only occur *after* a reserve add, which proves that taxes can only be paid *after* govt spending occurs, and not before.

        If you really believe that markets can dictate to govts, I suggest you bet against Japanese govts bonds; that trade isn’t known as the “widow maker” for nothing.

        Only if a govt uses a foreign currency (Euro in Eurozone; Sterling/Euro in post-Indy Scotland), or tries to defend a currency peg, can the markets pounce, such as George Soros did on Black Weds in 1992 when Lamont was trying to defend an indefensible ERM rate for Sterling by raising interest rates to 15%. Maintaining a free-floating currency, with capital controls, is the best defense against that kind of speculation, and there is no rule of nature to say that a govt *has* to issue bonds either; ex-EU, the UK can revert back to running an overdraft at the BoE, using the mothballed Ways and Means Account. So could Scotland with its own central bank.

        Why offer welfare to billionaires by issuing Gilts? And why on earth would the monopoly issuer of the currency need to borrow back that currency that it had issued to the private sector in the first place.

        There are two reasons that govts with their own fiat currencies issue bonds: one is to drain off central bank reserves in order to target a particular interest rate (excess reserves lead to lowered overnight lending rates, which pushes the interest rate towards zero), and the second is to offer a super-safe savings product to the private sector which cannot ever default. And that’s it. No “borrowing” (or taxing) is ever necessary “before” a govt with its own fiat currency can spend.
        (And taxes just hoover up excess currency to prevent inflation occurring *after* the spend has circulated, so givt spending can continue ad infinitum.)

        Be careful of repeating Thatcherite memes; you’ll end up constantly playing away at Neoliberal United. If you want Scottish Independence to succeed and have the freedom to spend what it takes to create an equitable society, post-Independence, you’ll pay attention to the lessons of MMT. (Even N Sturgeon appears to be considering a Job Guarantee, which is pure MMT, to be discussed as part of the GND at the next SNP party conference).

        If not, you’ll forever wallow under the neoliberal jackboot. Scotland’s choice; I don’t live there, and I’m not Scottish, so it won’t affect me either way, but there’s no point recreating the same false narratives about how modern fiat money works – why would you actually *want* to preserve the austerian, Thatcherite status quo in a newly independent nation, set up precisely to escape it?

        A final point: Currencies that have failed really only did so due to a catastrophic failure of their productive capacity (Weimar, Zimbabwe, Venezuela). Do you really have so little confidence in Scotland, its economy, and its intellectual and productive capacity, to imagine for a moment that it would face anything like that kind of economic degradation and catastrophe, post-Independence?

        • Dungroanin

          Mr S (& Everyone)

          The truth of money creation is hidden by Propaganda.
          As are truths of politics and war.

          An absolutely must read essay on propaganda and events covering the last 120 years by Gregg Maybury at Off-G.

          I personally have been coming across and verifying for myself many of the strands in there over the last few years but Maybury seems to be a lot further down that road.

          Please read, re-read and share widely. Such knowledge protects us and will set humans free.

          • Mr Shigemitsu

            Good article.

            The “Govt as Household” narrative is one of the biggest, most pernicious lies around.

            Brazenly declaring, as Thatcher did, that the govt has no money of its own, and can only spend what it can raise in taxes, is not only an outright lie, when the precise opposite is true, but co-opts taxpayers into being the willing and active agents of their own demise, as they misguidedly seek to preserve their meagre funds by continually voting for low tax/low spending/austerity imposing parties.

            I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry when a supposedly “progressive” friend decried in 2010, in full Osborne mode, “our enormous deficit” and “public debt”, and defended the swingeing cuts that were imminent – only to lose her job working across several schools a few months later, (and then offered it back, but only on a voluntary basis). Useful idiots all.

            And don’t even get me onto the diabolical lie that govt “debt” (aka private sector savings!) is a burden for future generations…

        • Hatuey

          Adding zeros is printing money. Conjuring up an overdraft without any obligation or responsibility, or even a lender, is printing money. Since goods and services can’t be conjured up out of thin air, it hardly makes sense that the money we use to buy them can.

          • Mr Shigemitsu

            But that’s exactly how it already works right now! Every day (or at least every weekday, excepting Bank Holidays!). Like it or not, this is the way that money creating and public spending operates in the UK, and most other countries in the world ever since the abandonment of The Gold Standard, and Bretton Woods in 1971.

            All money is debt. Your salary paid into the bank each month becomes eg Barclays’ or NatWest’s debt. Barclays’ reserves at the BoE are the BoE’s debt. The BoE is owned by the govt, so it’s also the govt’s debt. Even the tenner in your pocket is the govt’s debt (“I promise to pay etc”).

            Money is simply an IOU, and as long as the Treasury can enforce ubiquitous acceptance of an otherwise worthless fiat currency (Sterling) by imposing taxation on pain of confiscation of property or imprisonment, then the system works just fine.

            But well done for hitting the nail on the head with your final sentence. The availability of goods and services, i.e *real resources*, are *precisely* the constraints that govts face.

            Now, can you see how that liberates us, once we accept that? Because no longer can a political party or a govt ever tell us that *money* is scarce! That we can’t afford x,y or z because “how are we going to pay for it?” The truth is that govt money is infinite; it’s the real resources that are scarce.

            Therefore, maximizing the amount of *real resources* in the economy should be the goal of any govt. This means abandoning the concept of NAIRU, putting as many people into work as possible via a national, voluntary, genuine living wage Job Guarantee scheme, investing in infrastructure, a green new deal, and the productive economy, so that the maximum possible amount of (potentially infinite) govt money can be spent into this economy *without* causing overheating and inflation. And this expansion doesn’t have to be environmentally damaging: a massive tree planting scheme would be an ideal JG candidate, for example – especially needed in Scotland’s denuded grouse moors.

            Hence my argument for nationalising private schools and hospitals; limited real resources are being allocated on the basis of wallet depth rather than need. When it’s realised that these *real* national resources are what’s limited, not the money to operate them, then private provision becomes indefensible.

      • Mr Shigemitsu

        Inflationary pressure normally builds up in an economy when the amount of currency in circulation exceeds the capacity of the real economy to absorb it.

        This overheating occurs when there is genuinely close to zero unemployment (not the fake, massaged figures that currently mask chronic underemployment and widespread, low-paid pseudo-self-employment and ZHCs in the UK), and no spare capacity in the economy to increase the supply of goods and services to match the growth in demand that has resulted from the excess of currency in circulation. In all regions of the UK, this is very far from being the case, so there is currently plenty of scope for non-inflationary increases in public spending.

        Chronic public underfunding, both recurrent and for capital investment in infrastructure, has unfortunately led to lower productivity, and reduced the capacity of the the economy to absorb as much spending as it otherwise could, but that’s no excuse not to turn the taps back on for both as soon as possible.

        The evidence for ‘pass-through’ inflation due to FX movements is patchy, and not guaranteed, although the oil shock of the 1970s did have this effect. Foreign exporters, for example, can and do choose to reduce margins in order to preserve market share.

        But in an advanced economy (such as the UK’s) there also is the potential not only for import substitution, and increased exports, but also for greater FDI, as industrial and commercial assets will be cheaper to purchase in non-sterling terms.

        All these activities serve to set a floor to currency devaluation in an advanced economy, so there’s no real comparison to the invidious situation that usual hyper inflationary bêtes noires (Weimar, Zim, etc) found themselves in.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    It will interesting to hear whether residents of the Outer Hebrides, the Highlands, even the east coast north of the Tay would rail at Glasgow and Edinburgh draining cash from the Highlands and Islands 30 years after Independence, especially if significant oil reserves are exploitable in the Minch and to the West of the Hebrides. And any HS2-compatible train terminus pointing solely south from Glasgow…..when the obvious blue-sky solution is an east-west underground through station also linking to Glasgow airport, Edinburgh airport and Edinburgh and two loops linking to the tracks heading south. With potential links to branches to Stirling, Dundee and Aberdeen….

    Also how many rural communities will start railing at rich city dwellers making home ownership unaffordable for locals rhrough buying holiday homesat inflated prices.

    Will Edinbugh and Glasgow folk bemoan costs of rural infrastructure and suggest every Scot should live in a city?

    And will an Edinburgh financial services community scheme for CLC-style autonomy from Scotland?

    All the UK arguments revisited in miniature. The Shetlands say such things already, after all.

    None of these are inevitable, but I am not convinced that the unity of independence movements survives actually becoming independent. Schemers and dreamers face a branch point….

    Study South Africa for one. The Balkans. Pakistan and Bangladesh.

    If Scotland were to become independent, the choices available would be entirely dependent upon the settlement reached during the break up of the Union.

    I have my doubts such negotiations would be rapid in the absence of third party oversight.

    If Brexit teaches one thing, it is that negotiating without proper planning is not advisable. Especially with recalcitrant counter-parties.

    Reality does suggest the need for cross border cooperation on things like ATC, transport links, trade, fishing etc.

    • Republicofscotland

      “None of these are inevitable,”

      Speculation as you say.

      “If Scotland were to become independent, the choices available would be entirely dependent upon the settlement reached during the break up of the Union.”

      To a degree.

      Westminster in 2014 agreed to take all of the British debt, Scotland offerd to pay 8% I think around the percentage of population.

      The excellent White paper released by the SNP government of 2014, (Something Westminster never did, fag packet policies from them on Brexit) gave in reasonable detail of the division of assets, ( non- movable not included) afterall Scotland has contributed to those assets as well.

      • michael norton

        The time to grasp Independence must surely be now, the United Kingdom is in utter turmoil, the government only have a majority of one, even with the D.U.P.
        if not now, then when?

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      There is a genuine challenge there to be sure. Edinburgh is already overheated without becoming a proper capital city with all the upgrades in Consulates in both size and number. Glasgow also doesn’t really need the additional infrastructure investment. A new diplomatic capital in say Stirling utilising the much improved electrical rail links to Edinburgh and Glasgow? New civil service hubs in Dundee, Inverness, Ayr, etc..

      Some of the impetus for Scottish independence could be dissipated by opting to abandon the refurbishment of Westminster and move the seat of U.K. Government (permanently) to say Leeds, but that would require foresight that is conspicuously by its absence.

  • Andrew

    You are confusing teacher:pupil ratio with the number of children actually sitting in a class.

    Scotland’s ratio of 1:13 is not brilliant but is comparable to Sweden and most European countries. This leads to classes of 33 because lots of heads, deputies and Heads of Department are on reduced timetables to create time for admin – even full-time teachers only teach 90% of the time or less.

  • Goose

    I’m English, but I remember the 1997 Scottish devolution referendum quite well. And the late addition of a second ballot paper question on tax varying powers. Many believed at the time, that late intervention aimed at scuppering the devolution proposals in their entirety. But, much to their credit, fed-up Scots weren’t to be so easily deterred.

    After the 2014 independence referendum David Cameron boasted in the HoC, that loosening of some fiscal restraints on the Scottish executive would act as a trap for any spendthrift Holyrood administration. It’s been a constant theme and the idea the Tories(Scottish or any others) ever reconciled themselves to devolution is a myth. The SNP have to steer a v.difficult course with the unionist wolves always at the door. Hence it’s easy to castigate the SNP’s rule without understanding why and how independence would truly liberate potential.

  • Scot in Exile

    Let me just say that I agree wholeheartedly with what you write. However, whenever I get involved in debates about Scotland’s place in the UK, or – my preference – outside it, I am always confronted by English posters who trot out ‘the Barnett formula’ as somehow being ‘definitive proof’ that England feeds, clothes and waters the Scots.

    I know there are some very knowledgeable people reading Mr Murray’s blog, and commenting on it. Could one or more of them please help me to rebut these claims?

    • Republicofscotland

      “I know there are some very knowledgeable people reading Mr Murray’s blog, and commenting on it. Could one or more of them please help me to rebut these claims?”

      The Barnett Formula as a boon to Scotland debunked.

      Scotland has paid more into the union than it has gotten back for over 100 years.

      25 of the 26 figures banded about on GERS figures are guesstimates, GERS figures wouldn’t be relevant in a independent Scotland.

      Just a few of the myths busted that rUK funds Scotland, it doesn’t.

    • Hetty

      Well for a start, Scotland does actually raise a few quid here and there, you know from whisky, oil (£trillions), tech, fishing, agriculture, and much much more. I mean do people in England really believe that Scotland lives off of the backs of them? That Scotland somehow just has no means of raising cash via industry. Some people in Scotland do actually work, even those who don’t pay tax via VAT. The myth touted that somehow England’s gov out of the goodness of their hearts (!) sends loads of their hard earned cash to Scotland, has to be the biggest CON this side of the universe!

      Read these articles, just for starters.

      • Hatuey

        Bang on, Hetty. And, on the contrary, it’s clear that England would struggle without Scotland, both economically and politically.

        This link should suffice on the economics, it’s a short video clip from a world famous investor who knows what he’s talking about;

        Politically, England is weakened dramatically without Scotland and the cloak of Britannia (which would be removed, let’s be clear on that). England would undoubtedly lose it’s seat on security council, would be out of the EU (presumably), and left with nothing going for it outside of its dubious offshore banking industry (AKA “The City”).

        As for independence jeopardising the flow of trade between Scotland and England, well there are two clear possibilities. The most likely scenario would be that our future trading relations would be covered and guaranteed as part of some EU trade deal with the UK/England/Little Britain. That’s assuming an Independent Scotland would opt to remain in or join the EU (which would be most likely).

        The second scenario is much more entertaining though. As brexieters have exhausted themselves explaining, Scotland could continue to trade with England/UK/Little Britain on WTO terms. And according to brexiteers, WTO terms are great.

  • Gary

    I’m genuinely shocked to hear that your son is in a class of 33 pupils, I’d thought this type of thing was in the dim and distant past. I remember being in school (early 70s) and being part of a class of over 40 pupils, although even then this was an outlier and was eventually split to form two smaller classes.

    Without the SNP to ring fence money specifically for teachers’ pay we would see this, and worse, on a regular basis. I’ve always been shocked that Labour are against this and want to remove this protection for reasonable class sizes. It seems they don’t care about Scotland’s children.

    But whilst agreeing with you on Scotland being “trapped” always trying to offset punitive and deliberate attempts to keep Scotland on the back foot financially and politically I don’t see any other option. As we’ve seen around the world there are several routes to independence, UDI, revolution bloodless or otherwise or it being ‘gifted’ by the state of which the country it has been a part of (with or without a referendum) In our case we won’t have it gifted to us unless we are able to hold and win a referendum and the other options would not be tolerated by the British State (nor wished for by many in Scotland either)

    The best thing that the SNP, AUOB and other interested parties can do is continue to build support (obviously) and raise the profile of independence support in order to ‘normalise’ it in the minds of those who hold the levers of power. Not just governmental power either, but the power that newspaper editors and broadcasters hold by declaring a certain point of view to be either ‘fringe’ or mainstream’

    Twenty years ago the thought that a majority of Scots would support independence (as they do according to the latest polls) would’ve been utterly unthinkable to the likes of The Daily Mail, BBC and the then Labour government. Whilst they may still wish to dent the facts even now, it is becoming harder and harder to do so.

    I believe we are on the right path and, within the next twenty years, we will have our independence…at last!

  • Republicofscotland

    You know it sometimes verifies your trust (To a point) when you find out those you vote for, do the right thing. Imagine what else we could do with all the levers of power at our disposal.

    “Free NHS treatment will continue for citizens of EU states living in Scotland in the event of a no-deal Brexit despite plans to start vetting and charging patients in England.”

    • Hatuey

      I’m not sure what use free Scottish health care will be if they are deported, though.

  • Hetty

    As you say Craig, it’s a trap. Devolution does not work, it is not fit for Scotland, it is fit for purpose for the UkGov however. They know that it strangles any moves in a forward, 21st century direction for Scotland. The ‘budget’ that the UKgov condescends to send to Scotland once they have removed pretty much all revenues and resources ( to the tune of £trillions if you take Scotland’s oil into account etc) has been reduced significantly since the SNP were voted as the lead party at Holyrood. That is not about to change, the UK are effectively sanctioning Scotland.

    The UKTory Gov’s cuts to those on the lowest rung, the poorest most vulnberable is not only immoral, it also removes vital money from local economies and the wider economy. Here you go SNP, to maybe use a phrase of the dictator at WM, ‘every pound taken from the people of Scotland by the UKGov, whether via benefit cuts, cuts to housing benefit, or the bedroom tax, ( even via stolen oil revenues!), is a pound removed from Scotland, removed from Scotland’s communities and from Scotland’s wider economy.

    How much longer can the ScotGov carry on mitigating I wonder.

    On the subject of schools, indeed, your child will be lucky to have five minutes of one- to -one tutoring per week. That is also not going to change unless Scotland is independent, and therefore can make their own decisions about how much is spent where and for what, from the VAST revenues that rightly should stay in Scotland, not removed by a neighbour, who most certainly do not have Scotland’s interests at heart, to say the least.

    If children are in classes that huge, it also means that learning support is not going to be very healthy or adeqaute either.

    Had two sons with learning support needs when LABOUR were at the helm, via the council, and a Labour Scotgov, it was dreadful. ‘No money’ they kept saying. Meanwhile, Jack McConnell sent £1,5 BILLION BACK TO WESTMINSTER, saying ‘nothing to spend it on in Scotland’.( I was shocked and never voted Labour again after hearing that).Really? McConnell is now paid £300+ a day for his cosy seat at HOL’s. Utter disgrace.

    The knock on effects of lack of learning support are lifelong, which costs more, because social services are required to provide support, it costs the NHS more, it costs more in general. I ended having to home educate one son, and the Labour council were delighted, because it saved them I’d say, around £25k++ over 7-8 years. I wonder what the Labour council did with that money? It was struggle but worth it. Always worth thinking about.

    Lastly, back then, schools were reluctant to say the least, to push for any diagnosis, so they blamed the child, the parents(!) for their autism, and it saved the council lots of £’s not to have kids diagnosed because that meant they were obliged to fund support. That policy was detrimental to all involved, espcially the children.

    Every £BILLION that Edinburgh city council is forced to pay, via ‘debt’ to private companies, thanks to Labours’ legacy of their PFI schemes when in power, could be spent on education, health, housing, social care, etc. But no the £billion goes to pay a DEBT to a private company, because of Labour’s disgusting PFI scheme.

    School is NOT compulsory, nor are exams and nor is homework. Education IS compulsory however, and it should be approporiate to the ‘child’s age, apptitude and ability’. Sadly with 33 in a class, the school cannot be providing an adequate education for any individual child imo. Maybe part home ed would be an option, it can be autonomous. Kids are natural learners. My son taught himself to speak Japanese, and typography, but any kind of interests can be really focussed on, because at very least, the internet is a massive and fanstastic resource.

    Some home ed people I knew called schools, crowd control institutions, sort of true. ‘Weapons of Mass instruction’ by John Taylor Gatto is a great book…Good luck for your son at school, some kids like that environment and thrive in it. I hope he does too.

  • NP

    Governments don’t need tax revenues (or borrowing) to pay for their spending.

    I know this may sound crazy, but it’s true. And it’s very important to understand if you really want to be independent.

    It’s explained clearly in this article (below), which comes in two parts. It’s written from an American viewpoint using dollars but applies to all governments (which meet the basic criteria).

  • lysias

    The elementary school I attended, a Catholic school in the South Bronx, had class sizes of 60. Didn’t stop me from getting a First in Greats at Oxford and a Ph.D. in Classical Philology at Harvard.

    • glenn_nl

      You mean…. you weren’t offered an honorary knighthood to go with it? Have you got any explanation for this oversight?

      • lysias

        I hope you have had a chance to look at the book to which I referred you, Christopher Bryson’s “The Fluoride Deception,” as it demonstrates the truth of what I was telling you, that the Manhattan Project was responsible for the fluoridation of water.

      • glenn_nl

        Indeed – the plural of anecdote is not data.

        And most particularly not with highly dubious same.

          • Iain Stewart

            Ripper: Mandrake. Mandrake, have you never wondered why I drink only distilled water, or rainwater, and only pure-grain alcohol?
            Mandrake: Well, it did occur to me, Jack, yes.
            Ripper: Have you ever heard of a thing called fluoridation. Fluoridation of water?
            Mandrake: Uh? Yes, I-I have heard of that, Jack, yes. Yes.
            Ripper: Well, do you know what it is?
            Mandrake: No, no I don’t know what it is, no.
            Ripper: Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face?

  • MBC

    Well said Craig. The other part of the trap is that they can divert the money tap to the Scotland Office, or whatever it is now called, bypassing Holyrood all together until it is shrunk into total irrelevance.

  • Mist001

    Scotland is a small country with a huge amount of oil surrounding it. The danger there is that the USA might see it as an opportunity to bring democracy to an independent Scotland in the same way as they delivered democracy to Iraq.

    • Republicofscotland

      Like I’ve said in here before, Scotland doesn’t have the clout in Washington DC, like Ireland has. That’s why on independence we need EU membership as soon as possible.

      Of course the US will probably want us to remain in Nato.

      • glenn_nl

        Just for giggles, would you make clear why not, and the distinction Scotland offers against all the other invaded, destabilised and overthrown countries that are victims of the US?

        Invasion would not be the first option, of course. Have you read Confessions of an Economic Hitman?

        • Hatuey

          I think it’s quite bizarre that I’m being asked to explain why the US would not attack Scotland, even if it’s for giggles.

          It’s much more likely that England would attack us. They have a history of indiscriminately attacking and fleecing other countries, which they seem to be proud of, and stand to lose quite a lot if Scotland becomes independent.

          Of course, if that happens, it will be after they have destabilised us in the usual fashion, and carried out under thr banner of humanitarianism or keeping the peace.

          And yes, of course I have read the economic hitman book. I thought it was badly written and taught us very little that we didn’t already know before. In essence, it’s about neo-colonialism and I have often defined Scotland as a neo-colony on this forum.

          • Node

            The USA doesn’t need to invade. Look out for Richard Branson organising a pro-democracy music festival in the Borders, attended by well armed Unionists.

      • lysias

        You don’t need to invade to impose a policy on another country. That can be done through finance. And, if that doesn’t work, you can inspire a color revolution.

  • ray

    Only 33? My grandson is in a class of 40 with many teachers at the school being ‘classroom assistants’. We are years and years away from W European standards and would need to double the number of teachers and classrooms to catch up. Finland’s average class size went up recently to 17.

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      utter nonsense, class size limits are very carefully and stringently implemented. Not absolutely certain but 33 is max in primary,30 in secondary, (and 20 in practical subjects) Plus on or two exceptions for classes with additional needs.
      ?Usually there are classroom assistents .These vary in calibre from brilliant to useless to actually a negative influence, but this is unusual .

  • Divadab

    Hi Craig, lurker here with a wee thought: educational research shows that reducing class size has a very small effect on student performance at a high cost. Much better student outcomes are realized by streaming the students by ability – if the top and bottom 10% are put in separate classes to the middle 80% every cohort does significantly better.

    This is not politically correct but it is scientifically correct. Which is why it seems most people active in educational politics are for reducing class size and ending streaming. Superstition over science.

    • Hatuey

      If you remove two lots of 10% and put the pupils into 3 separate classes, all classes would be smaller.

      • divadab

        Err…..this isn’t how it works, Mr./Ms Hatuey – my son was in an “advanced” class of equal size to the “normal” classes – all over 30 pupils. The streaming happens at a cohort level, not an individual class level.

        However, the bottom 10% cohort does tend to require and get a lower pupil-teacher ration for obvious reasons.

        And @Deepgreen – I quite agree that teachers are under-compensated for all the extra time they spend. But wouldn’t you rather teach a bright, challenging class even if it meant you had to spend more time keeping ahead of them?

        • Deepgreenpuddock

          divadab :depends on whether mainstream primary or secondary.
          attempts are often made to ‘stream’ at junior stage of secondary but it is not effective or reliable.
          1st three yrs of secondary are what is called the ‘broad general education’ it is essentially not streamed or setted although there may be some judicious management of groups, more likely based on social compatibility.As I said in my other post, the issue is differentiation.
          And there isn’t a challenge keeping ahead. BTW, ‘challenging’ in teacher speak means a difficult disruptive class. not a peaceful ‘academic’ class.
          My understanding of primary is that there is some judicious grouping in core subjects but in general groups are of mixed ability.Again the skill is in creating and managing differentiated experiences for the different children.

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      streaming (or setting) is routinely done. The issue is partly to do with discipline and partly to do with getting th curriculum right. There has been some move towards creating a differentiated curriculum but it is a serious amount of work. The problem lies with creating cleverly(well) constructed, differentiated material, not with ‘streaming’ or separating children according to ability. the real problem is that the inordinate amount of work required to generate fresh engaging material is not supported.It requires a great deal of non class time and collegiality both of which are not paid for. teachers are judged by their time in class-reducing the role of teachers to glorified child minders issuing poor quality ill-judged hackneyed material.Preparation time is not really counted. countless hours of prep time required. teachers eventually forced to say ‘fuck it’ to spending their life essentiallyworking unpaid in the evenings.My head teacher wife has an actual hourly rate of about £12
      if all time is counted. the standard 35 hours is ludicrous.

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