Schooling in Scotland and England drift further apart as the Tories choose brutal exclusion

As the UK Conservative Party with Scotland-residing ones in their tow, go for proven FAILED strategies and risk even more exclusions and the proven consequent danger of more knife crime, the situation in Scotland becomes other-better-worldly. This is taken from a report here in September 2018:

Permanent school exclusions from Scottish schools have been falling in the period of SNP government. In 2006/7, 248 pupils were permanently excluded, and the figure has fallen steadily to only 5 in 2016/17.

In England, even national figures from the Department for Education indicate that 6 685 pupils were permanently excluded in 2015/16. That would be a staggering one thousand three hundred times more than in Scotland, but the problem may be even more serious:

‘A study by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) thinktank claims these figures mask the true scale of the problem, with pupils forced out of mainstream schools by informal methods that are not captured in national exclusions data. The report, published on Tuesday, says 48,000 pupils are being educated in the alternative provision (AP) sector, which caters for excluded students, with tens of thousands more leaving school rolls in what appear to be illegal exclusions.’

If correct, English schools are permanently excluding pupils at nearly ten thousand times the rate in Scotland – 8% of the population but only 0.010416% of the permanent school exclusions.

Just one of the reasons why school exclusions need to be minimised is revealed in a further Guardian article:

‘Excluding children from school may lead to long-term psychiatric problems and psychological distress, a major new study has shown. The research by the University of Exeter also finds that poor mental health can lead to school exclusion. The study found a “bi-directional association” between psychological distress and exclusion: children with psychological distress and mental health problems were more likely to be excluded but their exclusion acted as a predictor of increased psychological distress three years later on.’

Previously, I’ve written about possible differences between life in Scotland and that in England with a view to suggesting Scotland is becoming a more collectivist, communitarian, inclusive place, maybe even a ‘better nation’, while poor England, especially under (under is the word) the Tories, is becoming a more divided, unequal and brutal place. Here are earlier reports suggesting a difference that makes a difference:

Scotland takes nearly 26% of Syrian refugees settled in UK with only 8% of the UK population

58 000 baby boxes to help increase life chances and now Scotland will be the first country in the world to provide free sanitary products to ‘end period poverty’. This is the kind of country I want to live in.

Scots the least respectful of the upper classes: More evidence of a difference that makes a difference?

Scientific evidence that Scots tend to be different from the other groups in rUK?

Racial hate crimes increase by 33% in England & Wales while falling by 10% in Scotland: Who says we’re not different?

‘Scottish tooth fairies are the most generous.’ See, even more evidence we are different.

Who said Scots were not more left-wing than those in the rest of the UK?

How only BBC Scotland politicises a sensitive health issue no matter the evidence

We saw this BBC Scotland tendency with the tiny number of victims of hospital acquired infections who, of course, did not die FROM them, used to force an unnecessary public review, at massive cost to the taxpayer, on the Scottish Government. Reading yesterday how BBC Northern Ireland covered the cases of abuse at Muckamore Abbey Hospital we see all too clearly the difference.

In April 2019, BBC Scotland reported on anecdotal evidence from only two patients who had been maltreated by staff and told us that ‘experts’ (unnamed and unnumbered) had called for the unit to be shut down.

Referring to drug abuse to control patients in the unit, Dundee-based Labour MSP Jenny Marra said the allegations were “horrifically worrying” and “I am calling today on the cabinet secretary for health to put NHS Tayside mental health services into crisis measures because this is about public confidence.

BBC Scotland then went on to produce a documentary which lacks the qualities of any good documentary, relying entirely, as it does, on recollections from a very small self-selecting sample of often-traumatised patients, who have come forward, and the partisan comments of an opposition politician (Marra).  There is, of course, reliable evidence, missed by BBC Scotland, to suggest that the reported incidents which, of course, must be investigated, are not representative of the unit or of the majority of its staff. The Review of Adult Mental Health Services in Tayside on 7–9 December 2017 by Healthcare Improvement Scotland found no major concerns of this kind at all. The full report can be read at:

In sharp contrast, the 1 500 incidents recorded as evidence on CCTV has resulted in NI politicians calling for a review. No opposition politician was allowed to make hay with the story and there is no media feeding frenzy by BBC NI.

Massive reduction in number of dangerous dog attacks under SNP

Don’t be taken in. He’s got some bitethat Tory MSP.

In a FoI request to Police Scotland on 27 May published yesterday:

Please could you provide me with information on how many offences involving dangerous dogs police have recorded between Jan 2018 – Jan 2019, Jan 2017-2018, and Jan 2016-2017, in the Greater Glasgow, Ayrshire and Lanarkshire areas, with the information provided separately?

The data provided revealing a massive fall in recorded crimes:

In these three areas with predominantly SNP administrations over the last few years, we see reductions around of 30% in only two years.

Are Scottish Lib Dems ‘New Age Psychobabblers’ who could damage public health?

Hey Scottish voters, are you digging my thought fields?

On Tuesday 27 August at Holyrood:

Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western) (Scottish Liberal Democrats): To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the use of Thought Field Therapy [TFT]within the NHS, and what information it has on what medical research or trials on the use of this therapy (a) have been undertaken and (b) are planned to be undertaken in Scotland.

What is he on? Here’s what real experts have been thinking about TFT for 20 years now:

  1. TFT is a hodgepodge
  • There is a complete lack of scientific evidence for TFT
  • TFT is based on misconceptions and distortions AND 20 years out of date!


Can We Really Tap Our Problems Away? Brandon A. GaudianoJames D. Herbert From: Skeptical Inquirer Volume 24No. 4 July / August 2000:

As Shetlanders go to vote Audit and Reporting Scotland combine to give you a selectively cloudy and inaccurate view of NHS Scotland staffing

Oh no! Quite a few doctors are my age. Retire? No way, I can do this sort of thing well into my 70s.

First thing this morning we heard:

Efforts to tackle GP shortages face significant challenges according to Scotland’s public spending watchdog. Audit Scotland says the Government will struggle to meet its commitment to recruit 800 new family doctors and also faces a shortfall in other health care workers including nurses and physiotherapists.

The report, as before with Audit Scotland, is based heavily on pessimistic estimated projections and pessimistic arbitrary judgements and, as always, sees no need for contextual comparisons with other areas to put things into perspective. Of course, that might reduce the anxiety viewers feel.

So, as always here, find below a list of a few bits of evidence not mentioned:

First on GP staffing:

Scottish patients have far better access to GPs than those in England

BBC Scotland’s fake news on GPs ‘overwhelmed’ by workloads

Reporting Scotland all quiet on surgery closures and GP shortages as BBC 1 shoot them in the foot again!

SHOCK Scotland has far more staff including consultants and GPs per head of population

Second on Nurse staffing:

As NHS England is pulled into ethnic nationalist self-destruction why there is no Scottish crisis in nurse staffing

Scotland’s nursing and midwifery staffing and student recruitment are Miles better!

SHOCK NHS Scotland has 50% more nurses per head of population!

Scottish Tories reveal strong improvements in nurse supply under SNP

25% increase in number of nurses to work with young people needing mental health services

Scottish student nurse and midwifery numbers reach record high as they plummet in Toryland

Nurse vacancies in Scotland only a fifth per capita of those in ‘Dear Old Blighty’ blighted by Toryism

Third on other health care staffing:

Scotland has 10% of the population but 17% of the health visitors and fewer post-natal deaths after SNP government increases staffing by 25%

Radiography staffing vacancies running at ‘healthy’ 5% in Scotland

NHS Psychology staffing soars nearly 40% under SNP

10% of the population yet 13.2% of the paediatricians: why the health of Scotland’s children is NOT being put at risk by staff shortages 

NHS Scotland spends 9% less on private agency locum neurologists as FT staffing rises

Scottish Colonel (Retired) blows the gaff on HS2 but Scots to get £5bn!

From Ludo:

On Monday 6 April 2016, senior High Speed 2 official Andrew Bruce says he was set to reveal an uncomfortable truth to leading figures at the Department for Transport and HS2 itself.

The notion that HS2 could not be delivered within its £55.7bn budget had the potential to derail the scheme, months before a crucial vote in Parliament.

After a detailed analysis of vast amounts of data, the decorated former army colonel believed the cost to the taxpayer, of the land and property needed to build the railway between London and Birmingham, was much higher than HS2’s official estimate at the time of £2.8bn.

However, Mr Bruce’s presentation never happened. About half an hour before he says he was due to deliver it at a board meeting, he was fired.

He was motivated by the stark inaccuracy of the estimate, which was being used for all the land and property needed for the first stretch of the railway.

But that early property cost estimate only related to around 5,500 properties or plots of land for Phase One, when in reality HS2 needed to buy about 11,420 by compulsory purchase.

In effect, half of the plots or properties required had a value of zero. On top of that around 1,600 had a token value under £1,000.

“I was seeing blocks of flats in central London for £500,” says Mr Bruce. “Houses and gardens in Euston for £600. It went on for page, after page, after page.”

The former military man from Fife, who previously managed vast programmes for the British army in both Iraq and Afghanistan, says he worked around the clock for weeks to improve the data.

He says he insisted he needed to give the presentation, but he was not allowed.

In a matter of minutes after his sacking, he had been escorted from the building.

The £2.8bn figure was part of HS2’s overall submission to Parliament for Phase One, which was voted through by a massive majority of MPs in February 2017.

But Mr Bruce believes Parliament was “misled”.

“The true cost was absolutely covered up.”

HS2 is owned and ruled by the government.

The NAO’s report, published last September, said at the time Parliament did not “require” HS2 to update and improve its estimate.

Mr Bruce described that finding as “disgraceful” and said the report was a “whitewash”.

The company said a decision to revise the estimate had already been taken while Mr Bruce was still working at HS2.

However, it has not explained why the unrevised, £2.8bn estimate was still submitted to Parliament.

Footnote from Editor:

Maybe HS2 is not all bad for Scotland anyway? See this from the usually unreliable Daily Mail:

  • Scots to get extra £5bn for HS2: English taxpayers will be forced to pay ‘compensation’ even though journey times to London will be half an hour shorter 
  • Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are compensated for projects that only affect England 
  • Scotland and Northern Ireland will share an estimated £7.4billion between them
  • Campaigners say this will increase the total HS2 bill to £63.1billion

What, we get £5 billion from English taxpayers on top of the millions from Dutch taxpayers to run Scotrail? Cool!

NHS Scotland A&E Service more than 10% better than NHS England in July 2019

In NHS Scotland, 89.7% of patients were seen and resulted in a subsequent admission, transfer or discharge within 4 hours

In NHS England, only 78.9% of patients admitted, transferred or discharged within 4 hours.

The situation was the same in June:

NHS Scotland A&E performance 11% better than NHS England

Reporting Scotland ignore IVF treatment in Scotland BEATING TARGET for FIFTH year in row despite wider health benefits for women expected

The standard is for 90% of eligible patients to be screened at an IVF Centre within 365 days of receipt of referral from a secondary care/acute consultant. The 90% standard continues to be met since it was first measured in March 2015.

Why does this matter so much that BBC Scotland should report it?

Reducing associated mental health complications

Failing to treat infertility can result in problems and further costs for the NHS in other areas. A Danish study of 98 737 women, between 1973 and 2003, showed that women who were unable to have children were 47% more likely to be hospitalised for schizophrenia and had a significantly higher risk of subsequent drug and alcohol abuse.

Meanwhile in Tory-run NHS England, only 12% of boards offer three full cycles in line with official guidance. 61% offer only one cycle of treatment and 4% offer none at all.

A warning for Scotland’s 100% IVF post-Brexit: How moneygrubbing Tory IVF policies are creating massive distress now in England

How IVF became a licence to print money.

As we tumble toward a hard Brexit and trade deals with the USA allowing the private sector into the heart of the NHS, we can see how things will work out in the already privatised IVF service in England and contrast it with the state-controlled and regulated version, in Scotland. See this from the Guardian:

‘Private fertility clinics routinely try to sell desperate patients add-ons that almost certainly don’t help – why isn’t more done to monitor the industry?  Around three-quarters of all IVF cycles fail. And results vary with age. Figures from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) published in March state the average live birth-rate for each fresh embryo transferred for women of all ages is 21%; for those aged under 35, it is 29% – the highest it has ever been. For older women, the picture is bleaker: 10% for women aged 40-42, for example. IVF is expensive. And what makes it worse, says Hugh Risebrow, the report’s author, is the lack of pricing transparency. “The headline prices quoted may be, say, £3,500, but you end up with a bill of £7,000,” he says. “This is because there are things not included that you need – and then things that are offered but are not evidence-based.”’

Creating opportunities for the private sector

In Tory-run NHS England, only 12% of boards offer three full cycles in line with official guidance. 61% offer only one cycle of treatment and 4% offer none at all. Private treatment costs between £1 343 and £5 788 per cycle.

Why UK politicians would like more privatisation in the NHS

There are 64 Tory and Labour (New) MPs with ‘links’ to private health care. Why would we trust them to protect the NHS? See this:

Waiting Time improvements by NHS Scotland despite massive increase in demand

Though demand for NHS Scotland services has surged by between 27% and 35% in just 5 years, NHS Scotland has actually improved its performance in several areas including some waiting time targets. This is astonishing and a tribute to all involved.

Using Reporting Scotland editorial guidelines, I have extracted the data most in the public interest fromHospital Waiting Times Diagnostic, New Outpatient, Inpatient, Day Case and Referral to Treatment Quarter Ending 30 June 2019:

  • 78.5% of New Outpatients were seen within the 12 weeks standard at the end of June 2019 compared to only 74.8% at the end of March 2019 and 77.2% at the end of June 2018.
  • 79.2% of patients were seen within the 18-week referral to treatment standard compared with only 77.3% at the end of March 2019.
  • 81.6% of patients waited less than six weeks for a key diagnostic test at the end of June 2019 compared to 84% at the end of March 2019.

Talking-up Scotland

Counter- propaganda and Citizen Journalism since 2014

So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly arise and make them miserable. - Aldous Huxley

Wings Over Scotland

sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul


Scottish and Uk Politics