Conservatives FAIL to close achievement gap as SNP school policies cut it by half!

Opposition politicians and media commentators have been keen to suggest that the SNP has failed in its education policies. Spurious data from, for example, PISA results, have been used. You might remember ‘Brian Monteith: ‘Education failure’ will be the Nationalist epitaph’ or Theresa May’s accusations at PM’s Questions but from the BBC today:

Progress to close the achievement gap for poorer pupils in England’s secondary schools is almost at a “standstill”, say researchers.

“For the first time in several years, the gap between poorer pupils and their peers at GCSE has stopped closing,” says report author Jo Hutchinson.

In sharp contrast, we were able to report on real progress in narrowing the gap in Scotland’s schools, in February 2019:

‘94.4% of pupils had a ’positive destination’ including work, training or further study within three months of leaving school last year, official statistics show. The figures also reveal that the gap between those from the most and least deprived communities achieving a positive destination has halved since 2009/10, with an increase in positive destinations for school leavers, from both backgrounds. Over the same period there have been increases at all levels of attainment – the qualifications young people are achieving. For the first time more than 30% of pupils left school with a minimum of five passes at Higher Level or better, up from 22.2% in 2009/10. The gap between those from the most and least deprived areas achieving a pass at Higher Level or better is now at a record low, reducing for the eighth successive year.’

Why PISA results are not useful:

Forget PISA’s tiny unreliable samples: Scotland has the best school attainment outcomes in the UK because it has the most teachers per pupil

Scotland’s school’s PISA results ‘lean’ toward nothing meaningful. Finland’s success is not real. South Korea and China’s educational programmes amount to child abuse


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