Rennie Willie

Willie Rennie: End independence obsession to reverse worst ever science and maths results, the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader says.

Swinney 2By Democrat reporter

The Liberal Democrats may have lost their deposit in West Dunbartonshire at the 2017 General Election, but they were swiftly off their mark to upbraid the SNP for their performance in delivering education results in our schools.

Responding to the news that Scotland has recorded its worst ever results for science and maths in the PISA international comparison of education systems across the world, with England performing better in every measure, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie commented:

“John Swinney, right, can’t hide from these appalling results.Scotland used to have one of the best education systems in the world, but under the SNP its now just average.

“Scottish teachers have been messed about for too long. John Swinney has refused to listen to them. Support in their classrooms has been cut to the bone and they simply don’t believe in the policies being imposed on them, not least the national testing of four and five-year-olds.

“Nicola Sturgeon once claimed education was her top priority, but nobody is now in any doubt that the SNP will always put independence first no matter the cost. Their chief civil servant has warned another independence campaign will lead to the ‘de-prioritisation’ of domestic policy, but the SNP simply don’t care about the damage and distraction it will cause.

“Instead, we can build a brighter future by making it stop and investing in education. Liberal Democrats will i increase school budgets and respect and restore the role of teachers in Scottish classrooms through McCrone 2 – an independent review of their workloads and conditions.”

The PISA results can be found here.  They show:

  • Reading: Scotland recorded a score of 504. This compares to 493 in 2015 but 526 in 2000. England recorded a score of 505.
  • Science: Scotland recorded a score of 490. This compares to 497 in 2015 and 515 in 2006. England recorded a score of 507.
  • Maths: Scotland recorded a score of 489. This compares to 524 in 2003. England recorded a score of 504.
  • Meanwhile, rCole hamilton Alexesponding to the news that just 64.5% of children and young people are being seen within 18 weeks for mental health treatment, the worst performance ever recorded, with 806 children and young people waiting over a year, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP, left, commented:  “Just last week the government denied there was a mental health crisis. Today, the length of time children and young people are waiting for treatment is the worst on record. Performance has plummeted.“The SNP Government is failing a generation of young people and the consequences of their waiting up to two years for treatment are heartbreaking. Problems that start small are becoming crises as help arrives too late.”Staff are working around the clock but they aren’t getting anywhere close to the support and resources they need. They were promised an integrated workforce plan by the Health Secretary but it’s a year late.”Liberal Democrats will end the SNP’s independence obsession and instead build a brighter future, with extra funding to transform mental health services and treat them with the same urgency as physical health. We will end the waiting times scandal by seriously expanding the workforce, providing a new mental health practitioner in every GP practice and new 24 hour a day services in A&E.” 
    • 204 children and young people who were seen during the quarter ending September 2019 waited over a year. A further 602 children who were still waiting at the end of September 2019 had been waiting over a year.
    • The previous worst ever performance was 67.8%, recorded in the quarter ending June 2018. 
    • The number of patients referred in the last quarter reduced from 8,382 to 7,379.
    • The full ISD Scotland statistics can be found here. Performance in the previous quarter was 69.7%.


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