School trip cash goes further

YOUNGSTERS from Ayrshire will be able to visit sights of national importance during school trips after the extension of a grant scheme.

The Scottish Government’s Heritage Education Travel Subsidy scheme, which helps fund school trips to a number of key Scottish historical site, has been extended for a further year.

One historical site of great importance locally and nationally is the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, which is part of the scheme.

The move came as part of a parliamentary debate on Scottish Studies within Curriculum for Excellence, a commitment which already has the support of the Scottish public and a number of cultural personalities and leading academics.

Carrick, Cumnock & Doon Valley SNP MSP Adam Ingram said: “I have long been a campaigner for the teaching of Scottish history and culture in our schools and I am delighted that the Government has given a commitment to strengthen the presence of Scottish history, literature, language and culture in the curriculum.

“Recent research shows that 90 per cent of the Scottish public are on board with the plan, and the first meeting of the working group, which was set up to look at the issue which includes our Makar Liz Lochhead and a number of leading academics, was very productive.

“An important part of ensuring that our young people gain the knowledge and understanding of Scottish history, heritage and culture involves getting our pupils out and about to key sites.

“During the last academic year, more than 20,000 young people throughout Scotland benefited from the Heritage Education Travel Subsidy scheme.

“I am delighted to see one of our local sites Robert Burns’ Birthplace Museum included in the list of significant sites alongside New Lanark World Heritage Site, Bannockburn and Edinburgh and Stirling Castles.”