Scottish pupils from well-off backgrounds are seven times more likely to get three Higher A grades than those from poorer homes, according to new research.
The statistics, from a freedom of information request by the Scottish Conservatives show that in four council areas - Argyll and Bute, Dumfries and Galloway, East Lothian and Midlothian - not a single S5 pupil from the most deprived areas attained three As in their Highers last year.
They show the attainment gap between the most and least affluent pupils widened by almost 1 per cent between 2013 and 2014.
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson challenged Nicola Sturgeon during First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood: “In education, her record is one of failure and the experts say that her plans won’t fix it.”
Ms Sturgeon said: “I never have stood here and said that there’s not more work to do.
“But we are seeing the attainment gap narrowing.”