Fis-edsolutions ltd – blogs the BBC say Labour call for additional tax powers to fund education

The Scottish government has been urged to commit to increasing the top rate of tax in Scotland to 50p to fund education.

Labour education spokesman Iain Gray called on SNP ministers to make the pledge now.

Mr Gray said the additional money should be used for education in the poorest parts of the country.

He said the government could make “a signal of intent” that it would increase income tax on high earners.

It comes after both First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Education Secretary Angela Constance conceded improvements are needed to Scotland’s education system.

Recent figures showed a decline in reading and writing skills.

At the education debate on Tuesday, Ms Constance said teacher training courses must spend “sufficient time and resource on these basic skills”.

She told MSPs: “We must ensure that new teachers have the skills and confidence they need to teach literacy and numeracy to the highest of standards.”

Liz Smith, the Conservative spokeswoman for young people, also criticised the Scottish government.

She said: “With a cutback in teacher numbers it is no surprise that pupil attainment is down.”