Sturgeon makes education promises after election as FM

First minister made no mention of mounting concerns over SQA assessment in her priorities for the first 100 days

Henry Hepburn

Sturgeon makes education promises after election as FM (Copyright holder: PA WIRE Copyright notice: PA Wire/PA Images Picture by: Jane Barlow)

Nicola Sturgeon has set out her education priorities for the first 100 days of the new Parliament after her election as first minister this afternoon.

They include more teachers and a laptop for every pupil, as well as promises on further education college courses and free music education.

There was no mention, however, of measures to address ongoing concerns about assessment, despite growing concerns over the system put in place following cancellation of national exams.

Background: Are these Scottish education's priorities for next five years?

Also today: 'Teachers and students boxed in by assessment rules'

WATCH: Nicola Sturgeon insists teachers' judgement is key

The education priorities highlighted by Ms Sturgeon this afternoon included:

  • Funding colleges to deliver 5,000 more "industry-focused" courses.
  • Funding 1,000 extra teachers as the first phase of additional recruitment.
  • Abolishing fees for music and arts education.

The first minister also highlighted new payments to low-income families "as we prepare for the doubling [to £20 a week] of the Scottish Child Payment". 

Ms Sturgeon (pictured arriving at Holyrood this afternoon before being formally re-elected as Scotland's first minister) told MSPs before voting began: “This past year has been the most challenging that we have ever experienced.

“During the election campaign, I said that my overriding duty was to do everything possible to keep our country safe and, if nominated today, that will indeed be my first and my driving priority – to lead us through this pandemic and to lead us into recovery.”

She added: "In government, I have sought over this past year to work across the chamber throughout the Covid crisis.

"If re-nominated today, I will continue to do so as we do implement a programme to kickstart recovery.

"That will be a programme with the NHS, the economy and jobs at its heart, and we will take an inclusive approach to the debate that all countries must have about how we can build the best possible post-pandemic future."

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Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn is the news editor for Tes Scotland

Find me on Twitter @Henry_Hepburn

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