I regret the fact that there was so little substance in Mr McNulty’s question. Given the political consensus that existed in welcoming Mr Donaldson’s recommendations, I had hoped that we would hear a bit more from the main Opposition party than some girning and greeting.
Mr McNulty will indeed know more than I do about education cuts, given that the architects of the reality that we are living with were in the previous Labour Government.
Mr McNulty will be well aware that, although the on-going negotiations between the teachers, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and the Government have come to a halt, this Government’s door remains open to helping to resolve the situation in any way that we can.
Mr McNulty fails to recognise that excellence in teaching is the single most important factor in improving attainment in a classroom. I would have hoped that that would be the agenda that he would pursue this afternoon. As members know, the curriculum for excellence is alive and well in Scotland’s schools.
I reassure Mr McNulty that Mr Donaldson is of the view that his recommendations could be met within the existing resources. However, that will be a matter for the national partnership group to explore and pursue in greater detail.