The SNP’s appalling record on education is a “scandal that shouldn’t be tolerated”, Scottish Labour said today.
The comments came from Shadow Finance Secretary Jackie Baillie in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon, who said that after eight years of SNP Government a child’s education is still determined by how much their parents earn.
Speaking in a Holyrood debate, Jackie Baillie called on the SNP Government to commit to increasing the top rate of tax to 50p for those earning more than £150,000 a year when the power is devolved to Holyrood.
The SNP have been challenged to back Scottish Labour’s £125 million plan to transform education for the most deprived kids. This involves recruiting 200 new literacy teachers and doubling the number of teaching assistants in the primary schools associated with the 20 secondary schools facing the greatest disadvantage.
Yesterday the SNP Education Secretary said “it will never be acceptable for poverty to be an excuse for failure.” Yet after eight years of SNP Government, 75% of pupils from the most deprived backgrounds don’t have the numeracy skills they should compared to 48% from the least deprived.
Scottish Labour’s Shadow Finance Secretary Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“Too many young people in Scotland are getting left behind under this SNP Government.
“In the 21st century it’s simply not right that the income of a parent still determines how well a child does at school.
“After eight years of in government, the SNP’s appalling record on education is a scandal that shouldn’t be tolerated.
“We can’t accept business as usual when it comes to the next generation. Tackling inequality isn’t just an issue of fairness. All the evidence shows that countries with high levels of inequality have low levels of economic growth. For the sake of a more prosperous Scotland tomorrow, we need to do something about inequality today.
“Scottish Labour has a plan to transform education in Scotland. We will invest £125 million to make sure every single child in Scotland can get on in life, no matter their family circumstances.
“The SNP should match our pledge to use the bold new powers coming to Scotland to increase the top rate of tax to 50p for those earning more than £150,000 a year.
“Saying you are against inequality and unfairness isn’t the same as taking the radical action needed. The SNP need to spend less time making speeches about attainment and more time making life fairer for Scotland’s ki