AS SCHOOLS break for Easter, education has featured regularly at Holyrood. Well... sort of.

The SNP have brought forward no debates on education since October, instead devoting over 40 hours to debating the constitution and independence. However, opposition parties have used their Parliamentary time for education issues, because we agree that education should be a priority.

Of course, education as a priority was Nicola Sturgeon’s promise, but that evaporated long ago in her push for another referendum. She did appoint her top minister, John Swinney, to education, but he keeps fumbling the ball on schools.

Our international standings have slipped, budgets are squeezed, schools cannot recruit teachers and now the “radical reforms” John promised are delayed because they have been exposed and rejected by parents, teachers and educationalists. He says he will press ahead anyway, though.

Mr Swinney plans to centralise school budgets so that every school in East Lothian would have its budget set by the Scottish Government, not here in East Lothian. That’s a terrible idea, and he also wants regional boards for schools, even more centralisation.

In response, East Lothian Labour Party has launched a petition to ‘Keep Our Schools Local’. It is proving popular too. After all, everyone knows how bad the centralisation of policing has been for the county.

The SNP’s problem is they cannot admit the real issue and that is their own cuts. If they had kept school spending where it was in real terms in 2010, Scotland’s schools would have had £1 billion more spent on teaching our children. Instead we have over 4,000 fewer teachers and the biggest class sizes in the developed world.

Our teachers do a great job. But there are not enough – that is not good enough.