Commenting on analysis published today by Lucy Hunter Blackburn, a former senior civil servant, that shows that access to university for the poorest students has stalled under the SNP, Scottish Labour Opportunity Iain Gray said:

“The most important investment we can make in the future of our country is in education, and specifically cutting the gap between the richest and the rest.

The SNP have had eight years in government to close that gap, and we are told that it is the number one priority for the First Minister. Yet none of this rhetoric is matched by any sort of record. In fact under the SNP it looks like access from the poorest into university has stalled, or may have even gone backwards.

With a majority in parliament and more powers coming to Scotland the SNP need to set out what they would do to improve access for our poorest students to university.

Scottish Labour would use the new powers coming to Scotland to ask those earning over £150,000 a year to pay a little extra to set up a Fair Start fund. We’ll use that extra revenue to invest in our poorest pupils, and give the spending power to head teachers, who know better how to use the resources rather than a SNP Minister in Edinburgh.”