Scottish High Schoolers Suffer From Poor Literacy, Fall 3-4 Years BehindCC BY 2.0 / Ronnie Macdonald / Brazil v Scotland 22Europe15:06 22.02.2018(updated 15:14 22.02.2018) Get short URL
The performance of the Scottish educational system has come under fire in recent years, as it has been continuously struggling to maintain positive reading performance amongst schoolchildren.
According to the latest report compiled by the literacy provider Renaissance UK, the secondary school pupils in Scotland noticeably fall behind the set reading standards for their age.
The study titled “What Kids Are Reading” surveyed reading performance of some 29,524 Scottish pupils and found that 16 year-old students often read at the level of 13 year-olds.
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Managing Director of Renaissance UK Dirk Foch, quoted by The Telegraph, indicated that the main reason behind such a significant setback is that the primary schools’ “emphasis on developing pupils’ literacy skills… rarely continues once pupils go to secondary school.”
“By the time many come to sit their National 4 and 5 examinations, many will have a reading age of 13 or less, meaning that they could even struggle to comprehend their exam papers.”
“This could have a significant impact on their future academic success,” he urged. Renaissance tracked the decreasing difficulty of books that the Scottish students read during their years in secondary school, which negatively affects the reading habits of both boys and girls.
It stated that by the final year of primary school, the students generally fall behind the reading standards by one year, then, as they finish their first year of high school, the gap doubles, only to triple and even quadruple by the end of their education.
The reports further confirms the increasingly poor performance of the Scottish educational system which has consistently been undermined by the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP).
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In 2016, the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) registered Scotland’s dramatic decline in global literacy ratings since 2006.
The Scottish educational system slumped from 11th to 23rd place for reading, as well as significantly dropping in other key categories, such as math and sciences.
The Renaissance report attracted strong reaction from oppositional parties, which blasted the SNP for its failure to resolve the literacy crisis.
For example, spokesman for Scottish Labour Iain Gray stated that the “these figures will be even worse when considered along the lines of the richest and poorest pupils — and are the result of a decade of SNP cuts to education.”
“We have 3,500 fewer teachers under the SNP, and those that are in post are increasingly overworked and underpaid,” he told the Scotsman.
At the same time, the SNP spokesman defended the party’s educational policy, claiming that “improving education and raising standards for all is this government’s number one priority.”