Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart has called on the Scottish Government to address the inequality that exists across all areas of education in Scotland.
Ms McTaggart made her calls during a debate at the Scottish Parliament on addressing the attainment gap in education in Scotland.
Ms McTaggart highlighted the achievements of the Labour Governments at Holyrood between 1999 and 2007, including the National Debate on education in 2002 which resulted in an agreement to end national testing for five to fourteen year olds and increase emphasis on vocational skills for fourteen to sixteen year olds. She also spoke about the SNPs poor record on education, including their prioritization of university over college education, the fact that there are nearly four thousand less teachers in schools compared to 2007, and the failure to meet other targets on childcare provision and free school meals.
Speaking in the debate Ms McTaggart said:
“As a mother of three, all of whom are currently in full time education, this is an area of great interest to me and an issue close to my own heart.
The Scottish Labour Party’s approach to education has sought to both raise the level of achievement through increased public investment, and reduce inequality by providing resources for students from less fortunate backgrounds. We are concerned at the lack of comprehensive progress, despite the best efforts of schools, teachers and government.
High levels of inequality still exist across all areas of the Scottish education system. It is unacceptable that children from poor backgrounds do significantly worse at every stage of learning than other children, limiting their potential and future life chances and perpetuating the poverty cycle.
The challenge therefore is clear and the key point remains that for schools to fulfil the needs of society, the change in culture and outlook must go beyond the classroom.”
You can read Anne’s speech here, and watch below.