Tory MSP accuses SNP of using Loch Ness Monster for 'nationalist propaganda'

The education secretary has denied the Scottish Government is using the Loch Ness Monster as propaganda in schools after accusations the legendary beast had been politicised.

Government agency, Education Scotland, had come under criticism from unionists for educational resources in which analysis of films involving the Loch Ness Monster was used as a way to understand the union.

The resource asks children to analysis several movies in which the Loch Ness Monster appears, but was criticised by some education campaigners.

Neil McLennan, an education academic, attacked the alleged “politicisation” of Nessie, and said “you couldn’t make it up”.

The educational resource also said that the legend of the monster could reflect the “ambivalent position that Scotland holds in the Union”.

Speaking at portfolio questions in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday, Scottish Tory MSP, Russel Findlay, accused the Scottish Government of producing “ridiculous propaganda” for the classroom.

He said: “Education Scotland tells school children the Loch Ness Monster can help them form a view on the independence referendum.

"One education campaigner described this as nationalist propaganda and an attempt to brainwash pupils into thinking of Scotland as a victim of a wicked conspiracy.

Russell Findlay MSP accused the Scottish Government of using the Loch Ness Monster for propaganda.

"Does the cabinet secretary agree that the SNP’s beloved Nessie is wrong, and commit to the removal of such embarrassing and ridiculous propaganda from the curriculum?”

However, education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said that the resource was not produced by the Scottish Government or in-house by Education Scotland.

She said: “The actual resource in question was of course developed by two primary school teachers in conjunction with Professor David Martin-Jones at the University of Glasgow.

"Prof Martin-Jones is very well respected in his academic area and this material was based on his research.

"I would make very clear that this resource which was not developed in house by Education Scotland and certainly not by the Scottish Government is part of a resource that is there for teachers.

"There is no fixed national curriculum in Scotland, we have no direct control or influence over the curriculum, I trust our teachers to deliver that curriculum, it seems the Scottish Conservatives don’t.”

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