Now election is over the SNP education report card says: must do better
The SNP education report card isn’t something to be proud of.
With the election over, I hope Nicola Sturgeon will leave her helicopter in the hangar, return from London and get to work in the parliament she is a member of.
Through all the hype and campaign visits during the election, the SNP government in Edinburgh took their eyes off the ball and our schools and pupils are paying for it.
Just last week at First Minister’s Questions, Scottish Labour deputy leader Kezia Dugdale revealed new figures which showed the number of pupils passing exams fell by almost 102,000 in the last year. This is damning.
New analysis by Dr Jim Scott of Edinburgh University shows that the number of pupils gaining Level 3-5 qualifications in SCQF, the replacement qualification for Standard Grades, dropped by 20 per cent between 2012/13 and 2013/14.
It’s clear Scotland’s pupils are being let down by the SNP government.
The figures were revealed just a day after the SNP’s education secretary told the Scottish Parliament there has been an “increase in pass rates” for national qualifications.
The great strength of Scottish education known around the world has always been its breadth. But Dr Scott’s devastating analysis shows pupils in Scotland are studying fewer subjects and getting worse results.
Disgracefully, it has also been exposed that 75 per cent of S2 pupils from the most disadvantaged backgrounds don’t have the numeracy skills they should have. That a child’s ability to read and write still depends on the income of their parents should be a source of shame. This isn’t the fault of our teachers, who are dedicated and passionate about giving our young people the best start in life.
After eight years in office, responsibility lies firmly with the SNP who should be focused on using the education powers they have to give our young people the skills and resources they need.
The cuts to college student numbers, falling school exam pass rates, and the scandal of the poor numeracy levels of Scotland’s most deprived kids show the SNP’s education report card isn’t something to be proud of.
Hard act to follow
We have a new MP in Rutherglen and Hamilton West, and I congratulate her on the recent success. I want to also put on record my sincere thanks to Tom Greatrex who, over the last five years, has served our communities with great distinction and commitment.
I worked very closely with Tom and together led a number of successful campaigns – from saving local bus routes to opposing plans to change local out-of-hours services.
This week I was back out on doorsteps in Rutherglen speaking to people about local issues and picking up casework.
This is a very important aspect of my job as your MSP and those doorstep conversations help me represent and appreciate the area better. I will continue to serve as the Labour MSP for Rutherglen, Cambuslang and Blantyre and, if anyone ever needs my help or advice, please contact me anytime on 0141 647 0707 or at james.kelly.msp@scottish. parliament.uk
The SNP took their eyes off the ball and our schools and pupils are paying for it
Streetwise MSP James Kelly on Reid Street for a street surgery