Former ‘Union unit’ head urges Liz Truss to use education to ‘fortify the foundations of our United Kingdom’
Education under devolution has been “weaponised” by “nationalists” and Liz Truss should take control of it as a tool to “fortify the foundations of our United Kingdom”, a former Conservative MP has argued.
The call has come from the former head of Boris Johnson’s ‘Union Unit’, Luke Graham, writing in the Times alongside Ed McGuinness, the London-based chairman of Islington Conservatives.
In the article, they call on the newly appointed prime minister to ensure that schools and universities actively work to promote and shore up support for the Union.
Education is currently devolved to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the Welsh Government is introducing a new curriculum this month that includes a focus on Welsh and local history.
But in the article Luke Graham and Ed McGuinness say that students should be offered incentives to study outside their own UK nations to “expand their cultural and educational horizons”.
“A bold approach would be for the UK government to offer tuition support grants to students who choose to study in a nation other than their home,” they said.
Luke Graham and Ed McGuinness added: “Under nationalist governance the curriculum has been weaponised, ranging from the absurd through to the detrimental effects of distraction from core competence on children’s future.
“There now exists a unique opportunity for the new prime minister to hold the devolved governments to account.”
Carol Monaghan, the SNP’s Westminster education spokeswoman, told the Times there was a “whiff of tyranny” about the suggestions.
“These deeply sinister proposals represent a brazen direct attack on devolution, on the impartiality of our educational institutions and on freedom of expression that would reduce them to puppet organisations of the Westminster Tory government,” she said.
“This is not only a clear attack on Scotland’s devolved responsibilities but on the principle that education and learning must be free of political interference.”
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