Thursday, August 18, 2011

No, First Minister, she is only 7

Yesterday First Minister Alex Salmond opened the long awaited Carnegie School in Dunfermline. The school spent the first 2 years of its life in  Inverkeithing Primary School. Way back in the mists of time, it was intended that there should be 3 new primary schools in the Eastern Expansion of Dunfermline. To cut a really long story short, the Labour Council sold off the land for the third school,  leaving a big gap in provision for the incoming SNP/Liberal Democrat coalition to deal with. Local parents had to put up with a fair bit of inconvenience, but they have shown fantastic community spirit and commitment to the school, ably led by an inspirational parent council.

The video shows the First Minister talking with admiration about a wee girl who told him that Andrew Carnegie was a philanthropist. She'd clearly impressed him as he remarked that he wouldn't have known what a philanthropist was at her age. Actually, the bright young 'un in question is the daughter of a friend of mine. Her name is Lucy White - and I've written about her before in connection with the Secret Garden outdoor nursery in Fife.   Mr Salmond seemed to think she was 9, but in fact, she is only 7. He knew she was in Primary 3, according to the Dunfermline Press. You kind of think he might have joined the dots to work out that 9 year olds aren't in primary 3, but never mind.

He said that Lucy was a credit to the work of the staff at the school - and I'm sure that's true, but I'm going to add in a bit of special pleading for her mum and dad who have had quite a lot to do with her development too. We shouldn't forget them. They have loads to be proud of - their second daughter Evie, who just started Primary 1 on Tuesday, also met the First Minister. Certainly a brilliant memory to have from your first week of school.

I'm just so glad that the school has finally moved into its own building. The dilemmas for parents in the area aren't quite over yet, though - the way the catchments have been drawn mean that some will have children in two different schools. The option agreed in the end meant that the smallest number of  people had this problem, but it's still tough for those caught up in it and I don't want to forget them.

Lucy has been bright from the minute she was born - she was one of those babies who seemed wise beyond her years. I think she's going to make a fabulous contribution to society when she grows up - and it's a special thing indeed to have impressed the head of the Government at only 7.

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