Here’s how we’re creating a smarter Scotland

Scotland has an education system to be proud of. We are determined to ensure that everyone gets the best start in life, and proper support throughout their education.

In government we are taking action to empower schools, improve education and enhance the life chances of our children and young people. Here’s how.

  • We are delivering 600 hours of funded high-quality early learning and childcare for all 3 and 4 year olds and eligible 2 year olds. By the end of this Parliament, we will increase this to 1140 hours.
  • We are investing £750 million to tackle the attainment gap between pupils from the least and most wealthy backgrounds.
  • Since the SNP took office, 928 schools have been built or upgraded providing well-designed, accessible and inclusive learning environments for pupils.
  • 127,900 pupils in primaries 1 to 3 now benefit from free school meals, saving families around £400 per child per year.
  • We have expanded teacher numbers to a ten year high. In the last year alone, teacher numbers in our classrooms have increased by 288.
  • We are giving schools the freedom to make their own decisions. New powers for schools will put them in charge of key decisions about a child’s education, including responsibility for raising attainment and closing the poverty-related attainment gap.
  • The First Minister has introduced a reading challenge to encourage young people to develop a love of reading. Piloted with primary school children, the challenge is now open to all pupils across primary and secondary schools in Scotland.
  • New literacy and numeracy benchmarks provide very clear standards on children’s progress.
  • We’ve expanded the Education Maintenance Allowance in Scotland – now scrapped south of the border – supporting a higher proportion of school pupils and college students from deprived areas.
  • A record 95 per cent of school leavers 2018-19 went on to a positive initial destination.

Further Education

  • We continue to provide tuition free higher education in Scotland – while students in England face tuition fees up to £27,750.
  • Record numbers of Scots are being accepted to study at university with record numbers from our most deprived communities too.
  • We’re providing our further education students with record levels of support. £122 million in 2019/20 – up 44 per cent in real terms under the SNP.
  • We continue to maintain at least 116,000 full-time equivalent Scottish Government-funded college places.
  • We are providing more than £3.6 million to colleges and universities this academic year to strengthen mental health support; the first of our four year programme to provide more than 80 additional counsellors in further and higher education.
  • Since 2012, we have invested over £1 billion per year in Scotland’s universities.
  • We are leading the way as the only administration in the UK to offer bursary support targeted specifically for care- experienced students.