The SNP have risked leaving a whole generation of children behind during this outbreak.

Over 60 per cent of parents say their children have had no contact with teachers during lockdown. This online survey of over 4,000 parents also showed that a lack of contact time with their children's school was the top concern of nearly 70 per cent of the participants (The Times, 17 June 2020, link).

 

·         The SNP’s disastrous exam replacement punished pupils in the most-deprived areas. At National 5, the most-deprived pupils had their pass rates reduced from teacher estimates by 10.5 percent compared to 5.2 per cent for the least deprived, with these figures being 15.2 per cent and 6.9 per cent respectively for Highers (SQA, 04 August 2020, pg. 66 – 69, link).

 

·         The SNP have used the COVID-19 crisis to postpone a crucial curriculum review. The publication of the OECD review of the SNP's failed curriculum reform was meant to take place in February 2021, however, this has now been pushed back to June 2021 - after the next Holyrood elections (Herald Scotland, 28 April 2020, link).

 

 

Even before the pandemic, the SNP were failing Scotland’s children with an education system that is short of teachers and falling down the international rankings.

 

  • The percentage of school leavers going on to either work or further study fell from 93.3 per cent in 2017-18 to 92.9 per cent in 2018-19. Despite the SNP Government claiming the gap between the most-deprived and least-deprived pupils had closed on this measurement, the data showed this was only because the percentage for the least-deprived pupils declined by 0.2 per cent compared to 0.1 per cent for the most-deprived (Scottish Government, 16 June 2020, link).

 

  • Under the SNP, Scottish schools have slipped to their lowest international scores in science and maths. Scotland’s science and maths scores in the international PISA rankings have dropped below those of England and Wales and are now lower than at any time since the rankings were introduced in 2000. The score for reading improved slightly on the previous results but is still only at 2012 levels. (OECD, PISA 2019, 3 December 2019, link).

 

  • There are 3,600 fewer teachers since the SNP came to power. Total teacher numbers stood at 55,089 when the SNP came to power in 2007-08. There are now only 51,449.  (Scottish Government, Teachers - Teacher Numbers, 13 December 2016, link, Scottish Government, Summary Statistics for Schools in Scotland no. 10: 2019 Edition, Table 3.1, 10 December 2019, link).