We have made progress in closing the attainment gap but more needs to be done. We have invested over £750 million over the last five years in the Scottish Attainment Challenge. As a result, we are seeing steady, incremental gains in attainment across the broad general education.
The gap between the most and least deprived pupils getting a Level 5 award – for example, National 5s – has shrunk by more than a third. At level 6 – for example, Highers – the gap has shrunk by a fifth.
We will now build on progress to close the poverty-related attainment gap by investing £1 billion over the next parliament in measures to recover from Covid, improve attainment and close the attainment gap.
We will increase teacher numbers and classroom assistants by a further 32,5000 on top of the increase over the last Parliament.
We will implement a clear, funded package of support for pupils who have fallen behind or seen their wellbeing suffer as a result of the pandemic, starting with a programme of activities this summer.
We will devolve more powers and financial control to teachers and take forward the recommendations of the OECD review of Curriculum for Excellence.