Figures released under FoI reveal failing pupils and falling standards

According to a league table of academic standards that has just been published, thousands of Scottish pupils are failing to achieve basic standards in literacy and numeracy.

The figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, have uncovered serious failings within Scotland's education system. More than three in ten pupils at S2 level - the second year at high school - are failing to achieve the basic standards in reading and under half failed the basic standards for writing. Only six in ten pupils achieved the requisite standard for maths. One reason for optimism is the finding that the number of pupils achieving the basic standards has increased on all three measures since 2002.

James Douglas-Hamilton, the Scottish Conservative education spokesman, said Scottish education was suffering under the current comprehensive model: "These very poor figures once again illustrate that Scottish education is suffering from too many politicians and bureaucrats running our schools, too few parents being allowed a choice in selecting a school for their child and headteachers not having enough freedom to decide what is best in their own unique school environment for each individual child."

The figures, compiled by the Daily Record, show how every secondary school inScotland performed this year. They show how many pupils each school has and how many Standard Grades and Highers were achieved. The Executive published the latest figures on a website, but Conservative MSPs claim it is difficult for parents to compare the performance of schools. The Daily Record has now turned the raw data from the website - - into easy-to-read tables to allow parents to compare school performances in their area and across the country at a glance. The Conservatives criticised the Executive, saying they should publish the information in table form.

The league tables published by the Daily Record in table form can be viewed (in two parts) here: How did your school do? (The Daily Record, 15 December 2005). The first figure shows the roll, the second is the percentage of pupils who gained five or more Standard Grades at General or above, and the third the percentage who gained three or more exams at Higher or above.The totals show the second and third figure averages of eachcouncil area.

Thousands of pupils failing on the basics (The Scotsman, 17 December 2005)

Row over school test results (The Daily Record, 15 December 2005)