Tonight we are delighted to be joined by Mike Russell, taking time out from a busy schedule especially to talk to us. Mike is Scottish National Party MSP representing the region of Southern Scotland. His current government position is Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning. In this conversation with Mike he clearly demonstrates that he is passionate about the power of education and optimistic about the strengths of the Scottish education system and reforms going forward, especially Curriculum for Excellence. There were a lot more questions we would have liked to ask him, but there is a lot of learning in this conversation.
These biographical details appear on the Scottish Government site: ” He joined the Scottish National Party in 1974 and held a number of senior party posts before becoming the party’s first full time Chief Executive in 1994. Mr Russell was the campaign manager for Alex Salmond’s leadership campaign in 1990 and he contested the SNP leadership in 2004.
He was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 1999 as a Regional Member for the South of Scotland, was a founding member of the Parliamentary Bureau and then served as Shadow Minister for Children, Education and Culture. He won ‘Debater of the Year’ award in 2000 and was short listed for ‘Scottish Politician of the Year’ title in 2002.
Mr Russell lost his seat in 2003 and returned to a media career but was re-elected for the same region in 2007 when he was appointed Minister for Environment.
He was Minister for Culture, External Affairs and the Constitution, with responsibility for the National Conversation and the White Paper Your Scotland, Your Voice, from February until December 2009 when he was appointed Education Secretary”.