10 December 2019

New figures released have shown that the attainment gap in both literacy and numeracy increases in size throughout the stages of primary school.

The figures show that:

• A 19.2 point attainment gap for literacy between children from the most deprived and least deprived areas in primary 1 exists, which grows to a 21.5 point gap in Primary 4, a figure it remains at through to Primary 7.

• This is replicated in numeracy, with a 13 point gap in Primary 1, growing to 18.3 points in Primary 4 and then a 19.3 point gap in primary 7. While the overall attainment gap has closed slightly compared to last year’s figures, the size of the gap and the persistence of the issue poses serious questions over the SNP’s handling of education.

Commenting, Scottish Labour Shadow Education Spokesperson, Iain Gray MSP, said:

“Another day and another example of the SNP’s mismanagement of education.

"The SNP used to say education was their top priority – however, the continual existence of a large attainment gap for literacy and numeracy, as well as Scotland’s disappointing PISA results, should lay that idea to rest.

“Rather than carrying on with needless and unwanted reforms, and ignoring the views of teachers, parents and educationalists, John Swinney should start listening to those who really know what’s going on.

“The SNP must face up to the facts and do all they can to sort out the state of education in Scotland.

"If they fail to do so the parents of Scotland will give the SNP failing marks at the ballot box.”

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