Ruth Davidson has called on Nicola Sturgeon to ask the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) not to scale back the curriculum this year.
The Scottish Conservative MSP said that the SQA had plans for pupils to “cover less ground in the curriculum and key subjects”.
Speaking at First Minister’s Questions (FMQs), Ms Davidson accused Ms Sturgeon of being “content to accept second best – less teaching, less learning and less knowledge this year, for young people who already lost out last year”.
She added: “Parents expect this government to have the ambition to deliver the same standards of teaching as in any normal school year, and nothing less.
“So will the First Minister ask the SQA to think again?”
The First Minister replied that the SQA “will do the work that is required” and reiterated plans for a review aimed at learning lessons from the botched results system introduced because exams were cancelled due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Ms Sturgeon said: “It’s important, particularly given the mistakes that were made – and I take responsibility for those mistakes – around the SQA results this year, that we take time to make sure that we get that right while continuing to support young people through an ongoing virus situation that has not yet ended.”
Ms Davidson opened FMQs by referencing the plan, announced in Tuesday’s Programme for Government, to introduce a draft bill at Holyrood setting out a question and proposed timings for another Scottish independence referendum.
“Why is that more urgent than an education bill?” Ms Davidson asked.
Ms Sturgeon replied: “This government has a very well known, well established and well under way programme of improvements and reform in education.
“Of course we have taken additional steps to make sure that pupils catch up the education that they’ve lost over the Covid-19 period, we’ve given additional funding to local authorities for that and we are providing additional funding specifically to recruit additional teachers.
“Education, and improving education remains the priority for this government.”