A little over a year ago, we took the decision to move from Shetland.
It wasn’t taken lightly – we’d spent a long time trying to persuade the SIC’s Education Department that their plans for implementing the Curriculum for Excellence at the Senior level were misguided. They were happy to blame the Scottish Parliament for setting the guidelines, our MSPs at the Scottish Parliament teflon’d the blame straight back to SIC saying it was a local matter for local councils to decide. I’d attended meetings, along with many other parents, making sure our voices were heard. If they were heard, they were ignored.
A year on and with the schools in Shetland back in session, I have no idea whether anyone is any the wiser up there. I know that no progress has been made on the subject of schools closures, the construction of the new high school, the merging of senior schools, implementing any of the “Blueprint for Education”. There has also been no progress in merging the 2 further/higher education institutions on Shetland – anyone care to show me another community of 20,000 folk with 2 colleges?
So, one year on from making our decision, was it the right one?
In short, yes.
The debate over independence for Scotland rages on – it’s a toxic, destructive, and, ultimately, fruitless debate. Whatever happens, it has poisoned the relationship between the Scottish Parliament and Westminster. I stand by being in favour of Scottish independence – as long as I am on the English side of the break-up. I still do not believe it is a matter purely for the Scots to decide – this is something that affects the entirety of the United Kingdom and we should all have a say in it. It’s like a divorce happening purely because the husband says it should. Only he’ll keep on using the joint bank account, the shared credit card, and the car.
Anyway, it’s interesting to keep an eye on developments from afar.
In a few weeks the English schools will be back in and I will, for the first time, have all 5 of my kids in full-time education. An education system designed that will allow them to take all three sciences at GCSE, A-levels acceptable at all academic institutions the world over without requiring some form of conversion table.
Is life down here as good as it was? It’s different, and that’s as good as it gets. Some days it’s still a novelty to drive for more than half an hour without running out of land. But I’d swap my hour-each-way commute for the 7 minutes I used to have in a moment.