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‘No hard facts’ to back Swinney’s Education Bill u-turn

25 Jun 2019

Education secretary John Swinney has been criticised for ditching his education reforms – despite having “no hard facts” for doing so.

A year after shelving the controversial Education (Scotland) Bill, Mr Swinney confirmed today the legislation would be dropped for good.

That’s despite previously saying it would “deliver the biggest and most radical change to how our schools are run”.

Now, he claims with “cautious optimism” that standards are improving in the absence of such a bill, and that he will instead allow those changes to continue uninterrupted.

In contrast, the Scottish Parliament’s Education Committee recently stated in a report: “The lack of baseline data means no meaningful conclusions on upward or downwards trends can be reached at a time of reform within Scottish education.”

Scottish Conservative shadow education secretary Liz Smith said:

“John Swinney is telling us that standards are improving, and that this has been possible because of the absence of an education bill. You couldn’t make it up.

“But, worse than that, there are no facts whatsoever to prove his contention.

“He seems to have discovered evidence that no-one else has found to prove that standards are improving.”