The Scottish School League Tables are out - and Edinburgh’s state schools are falling behind the rest of Scotland, with only 33 per cent of Edinburgh pupils attaining five or more awards at SCQF level six, the current equivalent to a Higher.
As a city with 1 in 4 pupils in private school, the recent scandal where Derek MacKay, the Finance Minister for Scotland, provided advice to private schools on how to get around the business rates after the subsidies and charitable tax relief end is particularly biting. Pupils in Edinburgh’s state schools are being let down while private schools, home of the privileged, are encouraged to avoid paying their due.
As I said on this topic at Scottish Labour Party Conference, providing subsidies and tax relief for private schools in this climate is morally repugnant. The only thing that will tackle the fundamental inequality in our society is an education system that works for the many, not the few. In the meantime, it's the students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds who suffer.