MSP accuses Scottish Government of "running scared"

MSP Graham Simpson has accused the Scottish National Party of “running scared” after the Scottish Goverment said it would not be publishing a review of its education system until after the Holyrood elections are over.

Graham Simpson

The Central Scotland Conservative List MSP made the call after the Scottish Conservatives defeated the SNP in Parliament earlier this week securing cross-party support on calls to release the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development review before the election in May .

The SNP Government were due to publish the review this month but have since confirmed it won’t be published until after the election .

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And Mr Simpson says that this proves SNP Education Secretary John Swinney is “running scared” of the report’s findings.

The Tory said he is also backing plans by the party for a national catch-up plan to prevent a lost generation of pupils who have had schooling severely disrupted due to the Covid pandemic.

Mr Simpson stated: “This report is sitting on Mr Swinney’s desk right now but it is clear he doesn’t want to be transparent with voters ahead of the election. The Scottish Conservatives have demanded this report is published immediately and secured cross-party support for this.

"I am also supporting our party’s proposals to set up an immediate and urgent national catch-up and tutoring scheme to avoid a lost generation of pupils who have had to endure such disruption.

"We have lobbied the First Minister directly over this and are pushing for urgent meetings to get this off the ground.”

However, a Scottish Government spokesperson said that the comments were failing to take several key factors into account.

He said: "The OECD will be holding an engagement event in March, where they will share emerging messages with stakeholders, providing a further opportunity for key partners and practitioners in Scotland to inform the final report,

“The OECD’s independent review is conducted by their own analysts and international experts They decide how to do their work and which evidence to take. Their approach follows the OECD’s tried and tested methodology for assessments like this.”