for once, Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont is right, with regards to her assertion that the SNP government’s policy of free tuition fees are starving Scotland’s colleges (your report, 21 December).
The impact of a reduction of £70 million in finance to the college sector over the past three years has seen the loss of 4,000 employees, which has in turn removed 90,000 college places for students from poorer backgrounds. Suffice to say, the £70m lost to colleges has shored up the £100m investment in university education.
Further education is traditionally the area where students from the poorer working-class areas come to develop the skills and knowledge to attain employment and to possibly access university.
With the loss of 90,000 college places throughout Scotland, the government is now discriminating against the poor, excluding them from the educational attainment that could remove them from poverty. Is the Nationalists’ real intention to promote a middle-class ideology that actually promotes elitism?
We must ensure that all sectors of Scottish education receive adequate funding, and I would gladly support a 1 per cent increase in my taxes to ensure that all children in Scotland have the opportunity to participate in the educational sector that meets their educational needs.