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Third of SNP education targets delayed, dropped or ducked

21 Dec 2017

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson MSP speaking during First Minister's Questions held in the Scottish parliament, Edinburgh today. 09 June 2016. Pic - Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

A third of education targets set out by the SNP in its own report card have been delayed, dropped or ducked.

Ministers provided an update on 75 action points designed to help schools, including increasing teacher numbers and encouraging more to step up to headteacher roles.

However, it has now emerged that the deadlines have been missed for 23 of these aims, despite Nicola Sturgeon claiming education is her government’s top priority.

At First Minister’s Questions today, Ruth Davidson highlighted three specific failings from the National Improvement Framework.

The Scottish Conservative leader said a flagship scheme to encourage high-quality graduates into teaching had not yet been launched, despite a pledge for it to be up and running by now.

In addition, a scheme to improve school inspections has also been delayed, while a dedicated programme to help teachers rise through the ranks to become heads has also been shelved.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said:

“Nicola Sturgeon has made great play of the claim education is her number one priority.

“But when you go through 75 actions the Scottish Government specifically identified to improve education last year, it turns out a third have been delayed, dropped or ducked.

“A scheme to get more graduates into teaching is overdue, a drive to boost inspections has been shelved, and a plan for more headteachers kicked into the long grass.

“All the while, schools across the country are struggling to recruit teachers, and pupils are suffering as a result.

“Parents and teachers will look at these failings and conclude the First Minister is simply not living up to the commitment she’s made on education.”