A Smarter Scotland
A good education is an investment – not just in our children, but in our society and our economy too. From early years through to adulthood, we want to provide everyone – regardless of their background – with the very best chance of success in life.
A Smarter Scotland
We are committed to ensuring that all of Scotland’s children get the best start. By investing in high quality childcare and highly trained staff, we can support children during their vital early years and help them reach their full potential. Free childcare has already been increased to 16 hours a week for all 3 and 4 year olds – up from 12.5 hours in 2007 – and extended to 2 year olds from low income households. By the end of this parliament, we’ll hit 30 hours a week, doubling spending to £840 million.
Scotland has a good education system – with great schools and teachers. We have a new curriculum in place, record exam passes and a record number of young people leaving school to go onto positive destinations. But we need to do more.
We want to raise attainment throughout the education system and end the decades of educational inequality that has existed in Scotland. Addressing this is a priority for the SNP, starting with reforms in primary schools – the crucial early years of education.
To tackle the education attainment gap we will, over the next five years, expand our Attainment Fund and invest an additional £750 million in tackling this, with more money allocated direct to headteachers.
We will tackle the attainment gap in Higher Education too. We will set ambitious new targets that will ensure that by 2030, students from the 20 per cent most deprived areas make up 20 per cent of Higher Education entrants. We’ll reform student funding to make it fair to students throughout their learner journey from 16 to 24.
And, as long as the SNP is in government we’ll keep university tuition free - ensuring education is based on the ability to learn and not the ability to pay.
Helping young people to make the transition to adulthood and the world of work is vital. Whether a young person chooses university, college, vocational training or employment, it is important that they get the best opportunities. We’ve committed to increasing the number of Modern Apprenticeships to 30,000 each year by 2020. And, we’ll introduce a new back-to-work Jobs Grant for people aged 16 to 24.
Free, high quality childcare has been increased to 16 hours a week for all 3 and 4 year olds – up from 12.5 hours in 2007 – and extended to 2 year olds from low income households too. By 2020, we’ll near double provision to 30 hours a week.
Pupils are achieving more than ever with a reformed curriculum, record exam passes and 93 per cent of school leavers now going on to work, training or education.
All children in primaries 1 to 3 – around 135,000 pupils - are now benefiting from free school meals, saving families around £380 per child per year.
More school pupils are now in well-designed, accessible and inclusive learning environments. Between 2007 and 2016, 651 schools have been built or refurbished under the SNP Scottish Government.