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MSP calls for education performance report to be brought forward

By David Porter

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A vital report into Scotland’s educational performance must be brought forward for public scrutiny, according to a north-east MSP.

Alexander Burnett spoke after it emerged the long-awaited OECD study of the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) won’t be published until June 21, days before the end of the Scottish Parliamentary term.

It had been expected to be published in February ahead of the Scottish elections in May, but was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Scottish Government.

Aberdeenshire West representative Mr Burnett has called for immediate publication, citing “too many convenient delays” amid the current debate around criticism of the SQA exams appeal process.

Education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said pupils could be downgraded if they appeal provisional grades given by teachers at the end of this month.

Mr Burnett said: “The OECD report is one of the precious few measures of Scottish education remaining, after the SNP withdrew from the international PISA, Timms and PIRLS standards.

“As we rebuild the education of our young people after so much time away from studies, this cannot be kicked into the long grass just before the end of parliament.

"That won’t allow enough time for scrutiny or the beginning of meaningful change.

“Decisions made now will affect the futures of so many, and there is a pressing need for action at the top.

“Around 80 per cent of Aberdeenshire pupils are in class sizes greater than the 18 promised in 2007, and 29 per cent of primary school children can’t read or write to the expected level.

“This information has been sitting on desks at Holyrood since February.

"There have been too many convenient delays and pupils and parents deserve to know the truth.”

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