22 Feb, 2016

Nicola Sturgeon pledges to improve nursery school teaching

The Scotsman | 21 February 2016

Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to improve the standard of teaching in nursery classes.

Every nursery in the poorest neighbourhoods will have an extra qualified teacher or childcare graduate by 2018 if the SNP is re-elected in May, the First Minister told the Sunday Mail.

Ms Sturgeon has previously announced plans to double free childcare to 30 hours a week for three and four-year-olds.

The SNP’s plan goes beyond just giving children more hours and will improve the quality of education and nurturing support, Ms Sturgeon said.

But she insists that she lacks some of the powers necessary to close the attainment gap, with welfare spending and sanctions controlled by Westminster.

The SNP will make pledges to boost childcare in the SNP’s forthcoming Holyrood election manifesto.

Mr Sturgeon said: “One of the things we’re going to do is make sure that as we increase the quantity of childcare, we also improve the quality of it as well.”