by Ron Moore, Paisley Daily Express
The SNP Government is trying to push through its post-16 Education Bill to improve access to higher learning for school leavers.
Mr Adam, who is a member of the Education and Culture Committee at the Scottish Parliament, called on opposition parties to ditch their plans to vote against reforms because it will boost access to college and university for struggling youngsters.
He said: These changes will widen access and make post-16 education access a level playing field for all.
‘The plan reforms have the backing of the NUS and key figures in Higher and Further Education in Scotland.
‘The SNP is committed to providing the best education for our young people that meets the demands of Scotland’s industry and we are committed to the principle and policy that education should be based on the ability to learn, not the ability to pay.
‘In comparison, Labour, led along by the Tories, has abandoned the cause of free education, funded by the taxpayer for the benefit of society as a whole. Johann Lamont wants to limit the accessibility of post-16 education on Scotland with Labour’s Cuts Commission.
‘The Labour leadership needs to rise to the challenge, put opposition for opposition’s sake to one side at long last, and vote for this Bill in the interests of Scotland’s young people.’
The Bill would introduce requirements for poorer students to get into higher education and fine universities which fail in this area.
It would allow the Scottish Funding Council to review performance of how £1.5 billion is spent on the sector every year and support the college regionalisation programme, which will save over £50 million a year by the end of 2014/15.
It is supported by the National Union of Students, Colleges Scotland and principals of leading Scottish universities.
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