‘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.

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?

Are John Swinney’s education reforms really empowering?

One person’s “empowering schools” is another’s passing the buck. A one-size-fits-all approach may not be the answer, but does every school in Scotland really require its own bespoke curriculum, its own recruitment process, its own procurement policies?

Male victims of abuse do exist, and they deserve support

When the question “what about male victims of domestic abuse?” is asked, it’s not fair to assume the person asking it has an anti-woman agenda, or is trying to undermine (or snatch funding away from) efforts to help female victims.

Why machine gunning is just another day out for trigger-happy Americans

BANG. I jump out of my skin, but my instructor Cliff doesn’t even flinch. As he resumes his explanation of how to aim and fire the Heckler and Koch MP5 submachine gun, I’m bracing myself for the next one. The shooter is mere feet away, separated from us by a handful of metal partitions thatContinue reading “Why machine gunning is just another day out for trigger-happy Americans”

Here’s what I learned about America and guns from cruising the Caribbean

My American cruise companions may have lived in quiet suburbs or gated communities where they felt safe, but the presence of guns – in pockets, in opaque backpacks, in homes – means a vastly increased risk of them being murdered, or accidentally shot, compared to people in the UK.

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.

No-one is trying to ban free speech at universities

It seems students at English universities are to be protected from their own wrong opinions by a watchdog that will have the power to fine universities for pandering to them – or rather, for not interfering any time a minor stooshie involving a student-led group erupts.