Scottish Conservatives criticise ‘completely unnecessary’ delay to education review

The Scottish Conservatives have criticised the Scottish Government’s decision to delay the report of the OECD education review of Scottish education from February 2021 until after next year’s Holyrood elections as ‘completely unnecessary’ and ‘more to do with political expediency’.

The four month delay to the report was announced by John Swinney, the Education Secretary, this morning in response to a government initiated question.

The Scottish Conservatives campaigned for this wide-ranging education review after significant evidence of declining Highers results and narrowing subject choice.

The Scottish Government commissioned the OECD’s review only after losing a debate in the Scottish parliament.

The review was intended to explore how the curriculum is being designed and implemented in schools and to identify areas for improvement across the country. It covers the Broad General Education and the Senior Phase and the articulation between the two.

Graham Simpson, MSP for Central Scotland said:

“Whilst we accept that the Covid crisis has made assessment visits and stakeholder events more difficult, such a lengthy delay is completely unnecessary.  

“The Scottish Conservatives pushed for this comprehensive review into the curriculum because of declining highers results and narrowing subject choice. 

“Scottish education used to be the envy of the world but under the SNP we have been slipping down the league tables – the SNP government should be pulling out all the stops to find out why. 

“Delaying this report until days after next year’s Holyrood election seems far more to do with political expediency than Covid-19.  

“Tackling Covid-19 is everyone’s top priority, but there is simply no need for such a lengthy delay to this report - it must be published before May 2021.”