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Rennie: SNP’s independence obsession taken “terrible toll” on education

May 9, 2017 2:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has said that the SNP's obsession with independence is "taking a terrible toll" on education after new official statistics showed performance has continued to slip.

The results of the Scottish Literacy and Numeracy Survey, published today, show:

• Writing performance at S2 falling by 15% since 2012. Fewer than half (49%) of pupils now perform well.
• An increase of 9% in the proportion of pupils not achieving the outcomes expected for their stage (from 7% to 16%).
• Decreases in reading performance amongst P4 and P7 pupils of 6% and 2% respectively from 2012 to 2016.

Mr Rennie commented:

"These new figures confirm that 10-years of SNP mismanagement and obsession with independence has taken a terrible toll on Scottish education. Their record is shameful.

"A fifteen percent fall in writing performance at S2 is unacceptable. Pupils deserve better at what is a critical time in their education. There has also been no progress on narrowing the gap between pupils from the least and most deprived areas - something the First Minister said was her priority.

"The results of this survey have got worse and worse. It says it all that the SNP's response has been to abolish it and replace it with Thatcherite testing and league tables.

"Just as this election is a chance to change the direction of the whole UK, it is also a chance to reset the priorities of the SNP Government. We cannot allow Scottish education to continue to slip because of their obsession with independence.

"Instead, we urgently need to invest in education and trust and support our teachers, enable our children to achieve their potential and make Scottish education the best again. That is the positive agenda that Liberal Democrats are bringing in this election."