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McArthur calls for action to close attainment gap

June 18, 2014 3:39 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Liam McArthur has Liam McArthurLiam McArthurcalled on the Scottish Government to improve its support for Scotland's looked after children after a new report revealed the highest performers in S4 in Scotland's schools had an average tariff score five times that of looked after children staying at home.

The Audit Scotland report into school education published today found that the highest achieving group of pupils (Asian-Chinese) was 244 compared to an average tariff score of just 51 for children looked after at home. The national average tariff for S4 pupils in Scotland is 187.

The figures come only days after the Scottish Government's own figures showed looked after children are being left behind their better off peers.

Mr McArthur said:

"This Audit Scotland report shows that the highest achieving group of S4 pupils across Scotland had an average tariff score five times that children who are looked after by a council but are living at home. This disparity is alarming and has no place in 21st century Scotland.

"Audit Scotland has shown that councils that develop leadership and invest in the skills of their teachers are doing much better at addressing these gaps. The Scottish Government must consider how these steps can be taken across Scotland to give more young people the chance they need to get on in life.

"Coming only days after the Scottish Government's own figures showed a 20 percent gap in positive destinations between looked after school leavers and all school leavers, it is clear that much more still needs to be done to improve support for Scotland's looked after children."