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Sturgeon defies own advisers to deny subject choice crisis

Nicola Sturgeon has refused to accept there’s been a decline in subject choice under the SNP government – despite her own civil servants telling her differently.

The First Minister was challenged to explain comments by Scottish Government experts who stated there were “fewer subjects taken by pupils now than was the case prior to the introduction of the new qualifications”.

But instead of admitting that was the case, she echoed her education secretary John Swinney in denying children are able to take less subjects than they used to.

That’s despite the same civil servants making it clear pupils who previously could leave school with 10 qualifications at level five, now on average depart with eight.

Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said the figures made a mockery of Ms Sturgeon’s claim that education was her top priority.

He also accused both she and Mr Swinney of misleading Holyrood, having claimed there was no decrease in subject choice despite being advised to the contrary.

Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said:

“The truth is that both Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney have claimed subject choice is not declining, despite being told differently by their own experts.

“They both now need to explain why they misled parliament.

“Education was supposed to be Nicola Sturgeon’s top priority, but even by her preferred measures she is failing.

“When she made that claim she had both the goodwill and the support of this parliament to grasp the issue.

“But now, in the face of damning evidence, she has retreated to her comfort zone of spin and denial.

“There’s a choice to make in Scotland – we can be honest about the challenges facing education and redouble our efforts to restore our schools to their rightful reputation for a broad education.

“Or we can allow Nicola Sturgeon to host marches and shout into megaphones in the hope that will magic the problems away.”

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