Will parents hold the key to a new Holyrood?

Nearly halfway through the Year of Childhood for 2021, which includes becoming the first nation in the world to directly incorporate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into domestic law, Scots will be heading to the polls to elect a new Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government. 

Scottish Out of School Care Network has gathered the manifesto commitments of the five main political parties in the Scottish Parliament relating to school-age childcare.  

Issues affecting children that might impact on how parents vote in the Scottish election include testing of both senior and primary 1 pupils with the process for exams coming under fire and the whole idea that primary 1’s be tested after missing so much school being very unpopular.

Another contentious issue is school starting age in general but very specifically there is a bit of a postcode lottery with regard to deferred entry for children who don’t automatically get a deferred place (and an extra year of pre-school education) because they are born slightly earlier in the school year and this is a particular issue for children who were premature babies.

Of course, we won’t know if these factors have any bearing on how parents vote but it’s interesting to speculate.

Anne-marie Mackin

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