‘Snoopers’ are damned if they do and damned if they don’t

It might appear from tabloid coverage that there’s a clear line between “respectable” families and those in which children are abused – and that limited resources should be targeted accordingly – but we know this simply isn’t the case.

Generic gifts from Santa let children know they are poor

I can’t help but wonder if a collection of generic gifts, chosen purely on the basis of a child’s age and sex, might bring less cheer than a modest cash donation which could be used by a parent or carer to buy an item or two specially requested from Santa.

The moral panic about girls on social media dismisses their voices

There’s an obvious tension between two of the most prominent current narratives around girls: the moral panic around their use of the internet; and the push to get more of them interested in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Testing times demand a grown-up debate about measuring P1 progress

Has John Swinney done a good job of selling standardised testing? Clearly not. Will data gathered from P1 assessments be of limited value? Perhaps. But if the attainment gap isn’t properly measured, how will we ever know if it’s been closed?

Stop telling girls they must put male feelings first

IT first happened when I was seven. A boy in my class tried to give me a giant Valentine’s card, and a bear holding a heart-shaped “I love you” sign. I said I didn’t want them and he burst into tears. Big, blubbery, seven-year-old tears, in the middle of the playground. Everyone in the vicinityContinue reading “Stop telling girls they must put male feelings first”

Young people are ripping up the rules and creating a new kind of politics

I SUSPECT many readers of The National will be able to pinpoint the moment when they became pro-independence. Upon hearing a barnstorming speech, perhaps, or reading a powerful polemic. Many perhaps imagine the “don’t know” voters of Scotland can be swayed to the same position, if only they could have the same kind of transformativeContinue reading “Young people are ripping up the rules and creating a new kind of politics”

Women must not be silenced in the debate on gender identity

When it comes to the current consultation on reform of the Gender Recognition Act 2004, it is women who MSPs are finding easy to ignore. Specifically, women who believe that if the state decides the word “woman” has no objective meaning, then statistics will be skewed, protections will be lost and children risk being seriously harmed.