Education (Subject Choice)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 25th April 2019.

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The First Minister:

Again, the problem with Jackson Carlaw’s analysis of those issues is that the results that are coming from Scottish education do not bear out the criticisms that he makes. I know that he does not like the evidence. He talks about breadth of education. Curriculum for excellence means that young people now get a broad general education right up until S3. They then have three years of the senior phase, during which they can study a range of different subjects.

I go back to the evidence. If Jackson Carlaw was correct, we would not have a situation today in which a greater proportion of pupils than ever before leave school with qualifications—national fives and highers. We would not have a situation in which the proportion of young people who leave school with five highers or more has actually gone up significantly over the past number of years. And we would not have a situation in which a record number of young people go on to positive destinations, including a record number who go into higher education.

Those are the results of our education system and they simply do not bear out the analysis that Jackson Carlaw is bringing to the chamber. Those are the facts.