Eilidh Whiteford

Banff and Buchan

Scottish National Party

Scottish educational authorities (SQA) are considering enabling Scottish students to take the A-level in Polish. Currently the only foreign languages they can take A-level in are French and Spanish. Would you support the efforts to make Polish the third language available?

Local Authorities are responsible for decisions about what courses should be taught in schools and this includes whether to introduce any accredited courses in Polish. In terms of qualifications, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has validated Polish as part of the suite of languages represented in the Languages for Work Purpose Units (up to SCQF level 7) and Polish can also be studied as part of the new SQA Languages for Life and Work Award (SCQF levels 3 and 4). SQA has also validated Polish as part of their Higher National Units at SCQF level 6, 7 and 8 – these are offered by colleges.

Poland was the most loyal ally of Britain in the Second World War and the Polish army contributed to the defeat of Nazi Germany. Would you therefore challenge some of the British media falsely labelling the German concentration and death camps as being “Polish” e.g. Polish ghetto, death camps of Poland, or, Poland’s Auschwitz?

The SNP Scottish Government supports the ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ project, which provides education to more than 2,000 Scottish school students who visit Auschwitz, and go on to share their experiences with their schools and with the wider community. We support learning about the past and remembering, reflecting on and honouring the victims of the Holocaust. Through education we can encourage people to correctly report on the Holocaust.

Do you support promoting information about the positive contribution of Polish immigrants to the economy of the UK?

The SNP are pleased and proud that so many Poles and migrants from other parts of the EU choose to live and work in Scotland. We welcome the economic contribution Poles make to Scottish society, as well as recognise our strong history of cultural cooperation. Poles in Scotland have already made a fantastic contribution to the Scottish economy, society and to the Scottish cultural scene and I hope they will continue to do so.

In the event of Brexit, would you support granting an unconditional Indefinite Leave To Remain to the EU citizens who have lived and worked in Britain under the freedom of movement rules?

The SNP believe unequivocally that membership of Europe is in Scotland’s best interests. Being part of Europe is good for business and it supports jobs in Scotland and across the UK. The European Union has made the world a much bigger place for Scottish people, young and old. The freedom to travel, study and work across Europe has brought major benefits to Scotland. At present there are 170,000 people from across the European Union, including Poland, who live and work in Scotland. They contribute a great deal to the diversity of our culture, the prosperity of our economy, and the strength of our society.

Would you consider joining the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Poland and finding out about its activities and initiatives?

Eilidh will endeavour to attend meetings of the APPG, wherever possible.

Questions were sent out after the elections.