Ruth Davidson: SNP are ‘rigging education stats’

Ruth Davidson, Scottish Conservative leader. (Picture: PA)
Ruth Davidson, Scottish Conservative leader. (Picture: PA)
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Ruth Davidson has accused the Scottish Government of “rigging the stats” in a bid to “con” parents in a row over literacy and numeracy.

Nicola Sturgeon claimed the Scottish Conservative leader was “just wrong in much of what she says” and said she sounded “very confused” about the statistics, insisting performance was improving.

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The row centres on education statistics published earlier this week that show 96.5 per cent of school leavers in 2016/17 attained literacy at National Three standards, 94.4 per cent at National Four and 80.8 per cent at National Five. For numeracy this is 96.3 per cent, 90.7 per cent and 68.8 per cent respectively.

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions, Ms Davidson said: “It used to be the case that we could measure literacy and numeracy standards fairly with accurate surveys but when it turned out the rates were going down the SNP cancelled them and we now have a new system in place.

“And under that system a pupil can fail their National Four or their Higher English and Maths, but still be counted as having achieved the right standards in literacy and numeracy.

“In other words you’re deemed to have passed, even when you’ve failed.” Ms Davidson added: “How does cancelling surveys, how does rigging the stats ... achieve those higher standards?”