25 June 2019

Scottish Labour has called on John Swinney to go back to the drawing board on schools over the summer, as they break for the holiday.

Ahead of an update to Parliament which Mr Swinney will give today (Tuesday), Scottish Labour education spokesperson Iain Gray said it was time for some humility and realism from the Education Secretary.

The Cabinet Secretary should:

• Scrap Scottish National Standardised Assessments for Primary 1s as instructed by Parliament.

• Restore the Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy and re-enter Scotland into internationally recognised measurements of literacy, numeracy and science (PIRLS and TIMSS).

• Urgently address the teacher recruitment and workload crisis.

• Urgently review and address the reduction in subjects which senior pupils can study.

• Halt the “explosion” of teaching in classes covering three and four different levels.

• Provide local authorities with enough funding to make certain that children who have additional support needs are not left behind.

Whether it is problems with his standardised tests, narrowing subject choices, a lack of data or the crisis of resourcing, Scottish Labour said the Education Secretary is completely in denial of the reality for most of Scotland’s teachers, pupils and parents.

Iain Gray MSP said:

“It’s beyond time that John Swinney woke up and showed some humility over his bungled plans to reform Scotland’s education system.

“From the debacle of his standardised tests, the narrowing of subject choices for secondary pupils, multilevel teaching and a crisis of resourcing in our classrooms, John Swinney is in denial about the reality of what is happening in our schools.

"His so called 'reforms' have been pushed through against opposition on all sides by and the Education Secretary who thinks he knows better than teachers, parents or educational experts.

“It really is time he showed some humility, listened to teachers, parents and parliament and got the fundamentals of resourcing and curriculum right instead of ploughing on with reforms no one wants or needs.”
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