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Posts Tagged ‘Young People’

How We Grow Up in Scotland

Gerry Hassan

The Scotsman, March 5th 2011

Scotland we know has its fair share of problems, but we used to tell ourselves a set of comforting stories to disguise this. One was that we were an egalitarian nation. Another was that this was a child friendly society – due to things like Children’s Panels – but fortunately you don’t hear that much anymore.

Susan Deacon, former Labour minister was commissioned by the Scottish Government to look at early life experiences – with ‘Joining the Dots: A Better Start for Scotland’s Children’ the result.

Deacon was always a thoughtful politician and one who as a minister drove civil servants crazy: a major plus in my book! It is not surprising that this report is both positive in what can be done and damning of the current state of affairs. It has a sense of optimism that blighted lives can be improved, while being impatient about the reality of Scotland for many people.

It paints a detailed picture of the state of Scotland’s children. Half of all babies are born to unmarried mothers yet most families are remarkably stable. One quarter of children aged under four have been ‘persistently poor’ since birth. Low-income families are already financially stretched and anxious about the future. Read the rest of this entry »

Gerry Hassan is a writer, commentator and thinker about Scotland, the UK, politics and ideas. more >
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