The rate of pupils leaving school with any kind of qualification fell last year and Scotland’s attainment gap between rich and poor has widened again, a report has revealed.
Across multiple levels and age-groups, attainment has dropped, according to the official statistics published today.
They also show the gulf between pupils in deprived and wealthy areas deepening in certain areas, partly due to children from the least privileged areas performing more poorly.
In that group, the number of youngsters leaving with at least one pass at SCQF level four dropped in the space of a year from 92.6 per cent to 92.1 per cent.
At level five, it dipped from 75 per cent to 74.4 per cent, and at level six from 44.4 per cent to 43.5 per cent.
The report also stated fewer school leavers were pursuing higher education, down from 41.1 per cent to 40.3 per cent.
Scottish Conservative shadow education secretary Jamie Greene said:
“This is another damning report showing the SNP government is failing pupils of all ages and abilities.
“It’s a complete disgrace that the attainment gap is growing again in certain areas, especially after all the noise the SNP has made about this issue over the years.
“Even where the gap’s closing, it’s only because youngsters in wealthier areas are declining at a quicker rate.
“It seems John Swinney’s entire attainment gap strategy is framed around everyone getting worse at different rates.
“As ever with the nationalists, promises and warm words have turned to dust, and another generation of children has been failed.
“The SNP has been in complete control of education for 13 years.
“In that time, standards have slipped, teacher numbers have plummeted and now fewer youngsters are leaving with a qualification.
“Parents, teachers and pupils are absolutely fed up by this failing SNP government.”
Notes to editors:
The full report is available here: