The Free Speech Union in Scotland

I was very lucky to be able to attend the Free Speech Union’s Scottish launch – a much needed event – and a much needed move for Scotland.

The Free Speech Union offer support to anyone who has faced penalty for exercising their right to free speech. This is a right that has become increasingly threatened, especially in Scotland where the government is attempting to implement restrictive legislation regarding acceptable speech.

I have previously spoken at a Free Speech Union event about the chilling impact of the Scottish government’s policies on our children – a summary of which was recently published in The Critic. However, much more work needs to be done to challenge the restrictive and controlling nature of the SNP’s legislation, and the Free Speech Union will no doubt be helping us to lead to the charge.

If you are concerned about being penalised for exercising your right to free speech, please consider joining – where professional Unions can fail to support their own members if they are on the ‘wrong side’ of fashionable opinion, the Free Speech Union will offer support and legal counsel regardless of your perspective.

Publication in British Psychological Society’s ‘Educational and Child Psychology’ Special Issue

I have recently had some more of my PhD research published in a special edition of the BPS’ ‘Educational and Child Psychology’ journal. The theme of the edition was ‘Research in Schools’ and my article highlighted the importance of identification with the school for young people’s psychological wellbeing.

Specifically, we found that identification with (or attachment to) the school helped protect young people from developing psychological problems up to one year later. In contrast, identification with other groups did not have a significant impact on the young people’s mental health.

These findings highlight the unique position that education practitioners are in to influence, and protect, young people’s psychological wellbeing. This knowledge is worth capitalising upon, particularly given the current emphasis on Health and Wellbeing in the Curriculum for Excellence, as well as the SNP government’s commitment to improving young people’s mental health.

To view the paper, please see:

Miller, K., Wakefield, J. R. H., & Sani, F. (2018). Identification with the school predicts better mental health amongst high school students over time. Educational and Child Psychology Special Edition, 35 (2), 21-30.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328942485_Identification_with_the_school_predicts_better_mental_health_amongst_high_school_students_over_time