Nicola Sturgeon shamed for 'worthless promises' as SNP shamed by ANOTHER report

In the final First Minister’s Questions before May’s election rivals hit out at Ms Sturgeon’s failure on her so-called “defining mission”. The SNP leader has repeatedly been asked to be judged on education and closing the attainment gap between rich and poor pupils. But a damning report from Audit Scotland and the Accounts Commission this week found that “progress on closing the gap has been limited and falls short of the Scottish Government’s aims”.

The report makes clear the SNP administration has failed to close the attainment gap, meaning vast inequalities still exist between the least and most deprived pupils at all levels.

Ruth Davidson, the Tory leader at Holyrood, said: “This government has had years on education, so why has progress on closing the attainment gap been so slow?

“As a promise, it has proven worthless.”

Ms Davidson also questioned why Education Secretary John Swinney had said earlier in the week he was “nervous” about using the term “catch-up” when talking about pupils returning to school after a year learning from mainly home due to Covid.

Ms Sturgeon failed to give a timescale for closing the gap and repeatedly took aim at Ms Davidson for not seeking re-election as an MSP and taking up a seat in the House of Lords.

She was rebuked by Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh who warned her to make fewer “personal” comments.

Ms Sturgeon said if re-elected she will continue the work done to close the gap.

Insisting there had been “demonstrable” progress, the First Minister said there had been improvements in literacy and numeracy in primary schools, and a narrowing of the gap in numeracy for S3 pupils.

But Ms Davidson said: “As a promise, it has proven worthless.”

How many times will she demand another independence referendum before she finally gets round to closing the attainment gap?”

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie also pressed the First Minister on the issue saying: “At this rate of progress it will take 35 years to have equity in education – 35 years.

“Meanwhile, yet more generations of thousands of young people will be left behind.”

Ms Sturgeon said: “We’re about to go into an election campaign where it is up to the Scottish people, in the election campaign I will put forward my record, the record of my government.”

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