SNP accused of presiding over '˜endemic failures in education'

Scotland's education system has been broken by the SNP, with a whole generation of pupils being failed by the Scottish Government, Tory leader Ruth Davidson has said.

The Scottish Government has been accused of failing in education. Picture: Greg Macvean

She attacked Nicola Sturgeon over her party’s record on schooling, accusing ministers of having “spent 10 years failing to sort out endemic failures in Scottish education”.

While the Scottish Government is carrying out a review of governance in education, Ms Davidson insisted a wider “root-and-branch” assessment is needed to address the problems.

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She challenged the SNP leader on the issue at First Minister’s Questions, with the clash coming after MSPs on Holyrood’s Education Committee claimed exams body the Scottish Qualifications Authority “exists in a parallel universe” and the system is “in danger of sinking in a sea of jargon”.

Ms Davidson claimed there is “criticism and a loss of confidence” in the system from right across the chamber.

The Tory leader said: “My question to the Government is how have you allowed this to happen on your watch?

“My question is how many more pupils have to be failed before we get a root-and-branch review of everything and all the changes we actually need?”

Ms Sturgeon pointed to record exam results and the highest ever proportion of schools leavers going on to work, college or other “positive destinations”, and added: “I don’t accept the characterisation of failure.”