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Scott: SNP must trust teachers or classrooms will face another difficult year

August 10, 2018 3:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Tavish Scott has today said that the Scottish Government must trust teachers or classrooms will face another difficult year as further evidence of the impact of the Government's education policies emerged.

This week:

  • Exam results showed the total number of courses passed by S4 pupils has declined by a third since 2013, with education expert Keir Bloomer saying the government had been "sleepwalking" towards a "castrophic" drop, "giving young people fewer opportunities".
  • Analysis by Professor Jim Scott showed the number of S4 pupils studying and passing French has dropped by more than 60% (27,626 pupils passed in 2012-13, compared to just 9,854 last year), with other modern languages also experiencing big falls.
  • It was revealed that there were almost 700 vacant teacher posts as the new term approaches.

It comes after last week Scottish Liberal Democrats unearthed that ministers were sent hundreds of pages worth of blistering feedback from teachers on national testing of P1 pupils, with teaching unions now contemplating boycotts;

Tavish Scott MSP said:

"The pronounced decline in the number of young people taking modern languages is something that the government have repeatedly been warned about. This limits young people's opportunities, hits the economy and is inconsistent with a real ambition to be outward looking. Nicola Sturgeon repeatedly said this was important to her government but what have they done?

"It is yet another example of the SNP's education policies just not working. Children of all ages are affected, from P1s whose learning is disrupted for weeks on end by useless national tests through to pupils in the upper years having their subject options squeezed out.

"Teachers have consistently warned the government about their approach. They say what is really needed is the right support and resources to get on with teaching.

"If the SNP trust hardworking teachers then they must listen if classrooms are not to face another difficult year."