According to new research, the Scottish public wants the government to make improving education standards its top priority. The latest Scottish Social Attitudes (SSA) report on government attitudes found that 21% of respondents said this should be the government’s highest priority.
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Some 19 per cent said the government should reduce inequality. In comparison, 18 per cent said that the government should prioritise improving the economy, and 17 per cent thought that the top priority should be improving people’s health.
The findings come as the Scottish government prepares to publish its new education bill, which is expected to set out plans for radical reform of the schooling system.
The SSA report also found that a majority of Scots (57 per cent) think the government is doing a good job on education, while only 19 per cent think it is doing a bad job.
This compares favourably with attitudes towards the economy, where only 39 per cent of Scots think the government is doing a good job, and 46 per cent think it is doing a bad job.
On health, 47 per cent of Scots think the government is doing a good job, while 32 per cent think it is doing a bad job.
The findings suggest that the public is broadly supportive of the Scottish government’s record on education, despite concerns about standards.
This may give the government some confidence as it prepares to push ahead with its reform plans. However, it is worth noting that the public’s priorities do not always align with government policy, and the government will need to ensure that its education reform plans are in line with what the public wants.
According to the SSA report, the top priority for the government should be:
Improving education standards – 21%
Reducing inequality – 19%
Improving the economy – 18%
Improving people’s health – 17%
Other priorities mentioned by respondents included: job creation (9 per cent), tackling crime (8 per cent), housing (7 per cent) and environmental protection (6 per cent).
What do you think of the findings? Do you agree that improving education standards should be the government’s top priority? Let us know in the comments below.
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