The motion was tabled by the Scottish Labour Party and ministers voted for it by 63 votes to 62
MSPs narrowly voted in support of a Scottish Labour motion that stated “many teachers have lost confidence” in official bodies after “disappointing” international figures show “a decline in reading, maths and science scores in Scotland.”
The loss in Holyrood is a stinging defeat for Sturgeon, who had made education one of her top priorities during this Parliament after Labour accusing her party of presiding over a decade of failure.
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale tweeted: “SNP defeated again on Education record in the @scotparl tonight – sooner or later they will have to listen to the will of Parliament.”
Iain Gray, Scottish Labour’s education spokesman, who tabled the motion, said: “Our schools need reform. But, above all, our schools need more teachers with more support, more time and more resources to do their job.
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'True gender equality in Scotland – and elsewhere – is still some way off'
Failure to deliver it is the defining characteristic of the SNP decade in charge of education
Iain Gray, Scottish Labour’s education spokesman
"That is the core reform. Failure to deliver it is the defining characteristic of the SNP decade in charge of education."
SNP Education Secretary John Swinney claimed the motion said “absolutely nothing good about Scottish education”, was “disgraceful” and “pathetically miserable”.
Labour claim that since the SNP came to power in 2007, teacher numbers have fallen by 4,000 and local Government budgets have been cut by £1.5billion.
Scotland’s education system recorded its worst ever performance in a survey, conducted by the Programme for International Student Assessment, which showed it has fallen behind other UK nations.
The Scottish Labour leader demanded the SNP listen to the will of Parliament
Under the SNP’s stewardship, Scotland has tumbled down league tables for maths, reading and science when compared to 34 other developed countries and the UK’s three other home nations.
Liz Smith, the Scottish Tories’ Shadow Education Minister, previously said: “These shocking statistics are a damning indictment of a decade of failure under the SNP.
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Under the SNP’s stewardship, Scotland has tumbled down league tables for maths, reading and science
“The fact that the SNP has been so obsessed with independence has meant that it has taken its eye completely off the ball when it comes to education.
“Nicola Sturgeon says she wants to be judged by her performance on education but parents will rightly wonder what on earth her Scottish Government has been doing for the last 10 years.”
Grey, speaking when the results were released, said: “SNP ministers should be ashamed of these results. For all their warm words about making education a priority we are seeing performance going backwards as Scotland drops down international league tables.”