“Why are most MSPs boys?” and “Will MSPs stop the rubbish washing up on my island?” were just two of the pertinent questions Mary Scanlon MSP for Highlands and Islands answered when she was quizzed by school children on the islands of Muck, Eigg, Rum and Canna yesterday.
The whistlestop one-day visit by the MSP was part of the Scottish Parliament’s educational outreach programme. The programme aims to take learning about the Parliament into the heart of local communities right across Scotland with visits by MSPs and the educational outreach team to schools.
Mary Scanlon MSP said: “Accessibility is one of the founding principles of the Scottish Parliament and though there are excellent opportunities for school children visiting the Scottish Parliament, it is equally important for MSPs to get out and visit schoolchildren across Scotland, particularly on the islands.
“It was fascinating to learn about the different way of life for the schoolchildren on the Small Isles and the fact that the school really is the heart of the island community.”
Eilidh Soe-Paing, teacher at Canna Primary School with a school roll of four children said:
“I think it is great that an MSP bothers to come to the islands because it helps both the children and the adults feel part of the bigger picture that is the Scottish political scene. It makes us feel that our views are just as important as people on the mainland.”
Anwen Baker, a primary 2 pupil at Canna Primary School said: “After today’s visit by the Parliament to our school I am undoubtedly going to become an MSP and may even become First Ministeress!”
Archie Fichter-Irvine, a primary 3 pupil at Muck Primary School, which has a school roll of five pupils, said: “It has been great having Mary (Scanlon MSP) visit us today to talk about the Parliament because when we vote we will know about the Scottish Parliament and the parties we will vote for.”
You can now get in touch with the Parliament by text message. Our interactive service enables you to get the name of your MSP by sending your postcode, lets you ask questions about the Parliament and its work, and enables you to request a selection of free leaflets. The number to take advantage of is 07786 209888. Texts are charged at standard network rates. More details can be found on our Text Service page.