I was at Bell Baxter today (my own school!) talking to people about the SYP elections and how I could represent them. It was a really good opportunity to talk more about what I will do if elected.
Why should you vote for me? Click here to read about my policies.
One of the things that came up was the environment. I discovered a few days ago that supermarket lorries in the UK travel the distance to the moon and back…every day. That’s nearly 800,000 miles! If I’m elected, one of the things I will campaign for is greater food sustainability in Fife. We need to encourage eating locally sourced produce – initiatives like the Fife Diet are fantastic examples of how we might go about this.
Other environmental policies I want to promote include energy efficiency in public buildings (council buildings, schools, etc.), and the reduction of speed limits in built up areas.
The campaign has been going fantastically – I am so grateful to everyone who has supported me so far. There’s not long left now!
POLLS HAVE NOW OPENED! BELL BAXTER IS VOTING ON TUESDAY 7TH MARCH.
Why should you vote for me? I thought I would share with you ten of my key policy areas. These policies are just a selection – some of them could be worked on immediately, others would take time.
- EDUCATION – Campaign for greater recognition in schools of individual pupils’ talents and needs. Take urgent action on understaffing. Work with schools to improve student-teacher relationships.
- TRANSPORT – Get fares down. Push for the reinstatement of the bus routes that have been cut across Fife. In the long run, support free transport for all those under 18.
- EQUALITY – Ensure that schools and public authorities take serious action on hate crimes against young people on the basis of race, nationality, gender identity, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. Encourage the expansion of PSHE to cover equality. Support lowering the UK’s voting age to 16.
- ENVIRONMENT – Campaign for the localisation of our food and for all of us to eat more sustainably. Prioritise increased energy efficiency in public buildings across Fife. Support the reduction of speed limits in built up areas.
- COMMUNITY SPACES – Protect, develop, and expand community spaces for young people. Look at opportunities to create more green spaces in built up areas. Campaign for brighter, more lively high streets.
- CONNECTIVITY- Press for the continued roll out of high speed internet and Wi-Fi hotspots across North East Fife.
- HEALTH – Stand up for the mental health services that are so badly needed by many. Defend funding for physical education in schools. Promote healthy eating, starting in schools.
- ECONOMY – Secure local jobs specifically aimed at young people in or just leaving school. Increase funding for Fife’s YouthBank – an initiative that awards grants to anyone under 25 for a variety of community purposes.
- OUR FUTURE AFTER EUROPE – Defend the rights and futures of young people as Britain leaves the European Union.
- POLITICAL EMPOWERMENT – Fight for your views, your representation, and your rights.
Sorry for the delay in the update – the four of us were at Waid yesterday! It was wonderful to have a chance to get to talk to some of you. As well as coming round to talk to you at lunch, we were privileged to get a chance to speak to two of the S2 social education classes and answer some of the questions you had.
Someone asked how the candidates felt about the curriculum. I feel the Curriculum for Excellence has had a huge positive impact, but there is work to be done. The curriculum still isn’t working for many.
I am hugely inspired by the educationalist Sir Ken Robinson and some of his ideas are very relevant. He suggests that education needs to be focused on creativity and individualisation, rather than strict academics and standardisation. We teach maths every day – why not art?
This isn’t to say that maths and English and science aren’t important – they’re enormously important! It is rather that maths and English aren’t what a young person necessarily needs for their future. Especially in the broad general education, I think we should be providing a curriculum that is better tailored to individuals. We must recognise that each pupil is unique in their talents and needs – it’s absurd to imagine everyone can be taught the same way.
Another thing we talked about was how to improve relationships between students and staff. Many young people don’t feel they are respected by their school, and this only creates resentment, getting in the way of learning. If elected, I will work with schools across North East Fife to find ways to make young people feel more valued and respected.
The four of us are in Bell Baxter tomorrow – come and talk to us at lunch!
p.s. seeing as I mentioned Ken Robinson, I highly recommend this video
I had my first meeting today with the students of Madras Kilrymont! It was absolutely wonderful to get to know some of you and hear about what matters to you.
I spent time going round talking to some of you at lunch, and I asked you all ‘if you could change anything, what would it be?’ Your answers ranged from the light-hearted to the inspiring.
Someone wanted to get rid of the uniform – she told me it made her feel unwelcome. Another was desperate to deal with levels of hate crime, and another wanted the LGBT community to feel more welcome in Fife. It’s so important that we keep sight of these things.
(we also discussed free chocolate in school.. 🙂 )
One of the really important messages I got from you today is how angry you are about the delays in the new campus for Madras. I think it’s pretty outrageous that the school you have been repeatedly promised has been put off for decades. It’s not fair on anyone – students, staff, or parents – and is another example of young people being ignored in the decision making process.
As your MSYP, I would make it an absolute priority to push for the new Langlands campus. There has been some progress over the last year – I hope we can make something of this, and get you the school you need and deserve.
I am so grateful to all of you for taking time to talk to me. Remember – 8th of March. Vote Kit McCarthy!!