Labour’s spokesperson Pam Duncan-Glancy and Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth.

By Bill Heaney

Re-building education in Scotland must take account of 16 years of SNP failure to support Scotland’s young people, Scottish Labour has said.

Today (Wednesday) the Scottish Government will hold a debate on a national discussion about the future of education in Scotland – with much of the threats to education in Scotland resulting from 16 years of SNP failure.

Ahead of the debate, Scottish Labour is calling on the government to heed the calls of teachers for greater non-contact working time.

Under the SNP, Scotland has seen:

  • Slashed numbers of ASN specialist teachers while demand has risen sharply.
  • Scotland removed from international rankings.
  • Broken promises on class sizes.
  • Broken promises on teacher contact time
  • A substantial narrowing of the curriculum
  • A failure to tackle the attainment gap.
  • The removal of attainment challenge finding.
  • Reduced spend per pupil across the board.

Without action to unpick these substantial SNP failings, the government’s new plans will be nothing more than ‘sticking plaster politics’.

Today, Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP is calling on the education minister Jenny Gilruth to act to end years of SNP failure by listening to experts, pupils, teachers and unions.

Scottish Labour education spokesperson Pam Duncan-Glancy said: “I welcome Jenny Gilruth’s efforts to change the debate on Scottish education, but the truth is that she will have to unpick 16 years of SNP failure and broken promises to improve the situation.

“Without a full and frank realisation that the SNP’s failures have led us here – from the attainment gap to slashed teacher numbers and lower numbers of ASN specialists – any new moves will be only sticking plasters over the real issues.

“That’s why it is crucial that the SNP now listens not only to the opposition but to experts, pupils, teachers and their unions, and acts on their demands.

“We cannot sit idly by while a whole generation of young Scots are forced to feel the impact of a decade and a half of SNP failure.

“It’s time to act, and it starts with supporting teachers by making good on their promise of increasing non-contact time, ending declining teacher numbers and ending cuts to ASN support.

“More of the same won’t do. People engaged in the national discussion in good faith, what happens next, including a full assessment of how we found ourselves in this situation, must respect that.”

Picture: Class act from The Derry Girls series on television.

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