EIS is waving white flag over cutbacks

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What is Larry Flanagan, the general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), thinking about (your report, 5 June)?

He has issued the first ever invitation to a government minister with responsibility for education in Scotland to address the institute’s annual general meeting later this week.

This at a time when Mike Russell, the Cabinet secretary for education, is dealing 
possibly mortal blows to an entire sector of Scottish 
education.

The Scottish Government has, under Russell’s leadership, slashed college budgets to protect spending in higher education, taking them back, in real terms, to spending levels of the 1990s.

It has dramatically reduced college staffing levels. It will, with its “regionalisation” agenda, reduce learning opportunities in some of Scotland’s poorest communities.

Russell has promised the restoration of national bargaining in the further education sector and yet recently declined to accept amendments to the highly flawed Post-16 Education Bill currently making its weary way through Holyrood’s
education committee, which would have ensured just 
that.

One wonders if this was happening in Scotland’s primary and secondary sectors whether or not such an invitation would have been issued with such alacrity… or under such terms.

It seems that the EIS 
leadership has agreed that delegates will not even be able to question this possibly most authoritarian of ministers at the conclusion of his speech.

This is not evidence of the “political neutrality” about which Mr Flanagan is so proud; it is more like an 
abject surrender.

Ian Graham

Lachlan Crescent

Erskine