EDUCATION: SNP has failed to close the attainment gap between the richest and poorest pupils

Pupils at St Kessog’s Primary School in Balloch, West Dunbartonshire.

By Democrat reporter

A landmark report into the performance of Scotland’s education system has revealed that the SNP has failed to close the educational attainment gap between the richest and poorest pupils in our schools – Nicola Sturgeon’s so called ‘defining mission’.

The report from the Auditor General for Scotland notes that ‘progress on closing the gap has been limited and falls short of the Scottish Government’s aims’. Audit Scotland also note that ‘improvement needs to happen more quickly’.

The report makes clear that vast inequalities still exist between the least and most deprived pupils at all levels, but also that better data is needed in the system.

Jackie Baillie, left,  has said that after 14 years in power the SNP has failed education in Scotland and that the young people of Scotland are paying the price of SNP failure.

The Labour candidate for Dumbarton, Helensburgh, Vale of Leven and Lomond, is fighting the May election with an Education Recovery Plan to heal the damage done by the pandemic and 14 wasted years of SNP rule, and to build a brighter future for the young people of Scotland.

She said: ““This long awaited report could not be clearer – the SNP has failed in its mission to close the attainment gap in our schools.

“Nicola Sturgeon said that Scotland should judge her on the SNP’s handling of education. Well, this verdict is clear – the SNP has failed the very tests that Nicola Sturgeon set herself.

“Before Covid, educational inequality was vast and stubborn. It has undoubtedly increased since. The government focus required to turn this around will be considerable.

“The SNP, consumed by civil war and obsessed with division, have shown themselves to be incapable of leading on our schools and our future. We need a Parliament focused on national recovery.

“The poverty-related attainment gap represents poorer life chances for young people in our most deprived communities. I am committed to doing all that I can to end this injustice by closing the attainment gap.

“This is why I am fighting to implement an Education Comeback Plan which prioritises the wellbeing of pupils and sets the foundation for Scotland to finally make the serious progress that is needed to build a brighter future for our young people.”

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