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 investing £750 million to tackle the attainment gap between pupils from the least and most wealthy backgrounds. 
  • Since the SNP took office, 847 schools have been built or upgraded providing well-designed, accessible and inclusive learning environments for pupils.  
  • We are increasing teacher numbers. In the last year alone, teacher numbers in our classrooms have increased by 447.  
  • 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. 
  • All 135,000 pupils in primaries 1 to 3 now benefit from free school meals, saving families around £400 per child per year.  
  • New literacy and numeracy benchmarks provide very clear standards on children’s progress. 
  • Since 2009, the proportion of pupils getting passes at Higher level or better is up more than 11 per cent.  
  • 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. 
  • A record 94 per cent of school leavers 2017-18 went on to a positive initial destination. 
  • 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 a record amount in student support. Total student support rose last year by 4.5 per cent to over £882 million. 
  • We continue to maintain at least 116,000 full-time equivalent Scottish Government-funded college places. 
  • 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.