Poverty-related Attainment Gap

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 23 March 2023.

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Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

Yes, I can.

In his initial question, Stephen Kerr asked me about “outcomes”; I have just checked and that was the word that he used. I therefore gave him the data on the outcomes, but he obviously did not like it, so he wants to talk about inputs. Let me therefore talk now about inputs.

When I became First Minister, the number of school teachers in Scotland was 49,521. Today, the number of school teachers in Scotland is 53,459, which is an 8 per cent increase. In early learning and childcare settings, the numbers have increased as well. In Scotland, we have the most teachers per pupil in the United Kingdom, and education spend per person is higher than in either England or Wales. In Scotland, we have 7,573 teachers per 100,000 pupils; in England, where the Tories are in power, the number is just 5,734. In Scotland, we spend £7,600 per pupil; the Tories in England spend just £6,700.

Yes, I am proud of this Government’s record on education, and I really look forward to seeing it being built upon.