Douglas Ross to restore Scotland’s schools
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has launched a new policy paper to restore local schools in Scotland and target resources at the poverty-related attainment gap.
Speaking to parents and teachers, Douglas will unveil the first Scottish Conservative schools policies for the 2021 Scottish Parliament election.
The schools plan, launched just a few weeks after Douglas held a Roundtable Scotland event with teaching unions, includes:
- A £550 million proposal to deliver 3000 more teachers.
- Plans for free school meals at both breakfast and lunch for every primary pupil.
- A national tutoring programme, particularly for Maths and English.
- A commitment to a new way to measure and target the poverty-related attainment gap.
- A new school and education inspection body to improve performance.
This is Douglas Ross’ second major policy announcement, following the launch of his plan to protect Scottish jobs and rebuild Scotland’s economy stronger.
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “Scotland’s schools were once the envy of the world. Now, too many pupils see their ambitions dashed by a system stacked against them.
“Every year, thousands of Scottish children are unfairly judged by where they live and left behind, robbed of their chance to succeed because the government puts its own ambitions before theirs.
“The SNP will never choose schools over separation. Six years to the day from the independence referendum, despite polling today confirming Scottish people have more important priorities, the SNP still won’t put their own goals to one side, even in the middle of a pandemic.
“But we won’t close the attainment gap with a Referendum Bill. We’ll close it with action. We’ll close it with a laser focus on targeting poverty at school and a clear goal to restore teacher numbers.
“We owe it to the next generation to move on from the division of 2014 and finally make education our country’s top priority.”
Douglas Ross announces £550m plan for 3000 teachers
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross will today (Friday) launch £550 million worth of proposals to boost teacher numbers by 3000 and restore Scotland’s schools over the next parliament.
Six years on from Scotland voting to remain in the United Kingdom, Douglas will say we should spend the next six years focusing on the domestic agenda such as restoring our school’s world-leading reputation.
The schools plan, which will be part of Douglas’ manifesto for the May elections, will be announced on Friday morning in an online event with parents and teachers.
The pledge for 3000 teachers would be paid through Barnett Consequentials from the UK Government’s levelling up strategy and the savings from delivering key projects on time.
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “Over these last six years, Scotland has been stuck debating the same argument instead of building for the future.
“In spite of the First Minister’s infamous pledge to judge her on education, our schools are stuck down the list of SNP priorities.
“Before the pandemic, Scotland’s schools were struggling from the SNP cutting teacher numbers by nearly 3000. Multi-level teaching was rife and subject choice cuts were limiting pupils’ ambitions.
“Those avoidable tensions are now ramping up. There are not enough teachers to deliver smaller classes and meet the demands of absences related to Covid.
“So the Scottish Conservatives will commit to fixing the SNP’s mess. Over the next parliament, our plans would deliver 3000 more teachers to restore local schools to where they once were.
“The focus of the next six years must be schools, not separation.”