Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Tavish Scott MSP has today warned that poverty and deprivation is holding children back from learning after the Scottish Liberal Democrat conference passed a motion urging major policy changes.
The vote follows on from a Scottish Government defeat at Parliament earlier this week, with MSPs concluding it is “failing teachers, parents and pupils”.
Commenting Mr Scott said:
“Since 2011 Scotland has implemented a new approach to teaching yet cut the money available to schools. Scottish Government data shows the single greatest factor that still holds children and pupils back from learning is poverty and deprivation.
“Tackling the attainment gap is tackling poverty and deprivation. Education needs cultural change, not structural tinkering. Inspiring teachers and great school leadership are at the heart of rebuilding Scottish education to the world class service we all want. Curriculum for Excellence can and will succeed. But schools need the resources to deliver teaching with smaller classes, learning support and classroom assistants to help with additional needs.
“Scotland’s Education Secretary should set out the education strategy. He should separate policy advice from school inspection. He should make the SQA function effectively. Fundamentally we should trust teachers to teach, with a clear strategy. But with the space to innovate, change and develop new approaches to getting the best out of the next generation of Scots.”