Since the pandemic, tens of thousands of children have not returned to school. The plight of the so-called ‘ghost children’ has been described an urgent national crisis.

However, when the Scottish Government was asked about this vitally important issue, Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth admitted they have no idea about the scale of the problem north of the Border.

At Holyrood, Scots Tory MSP Rachael Hamilton asked “how many pupils disappeared from the education system during the 2022-23 academic year, in light of recent reports that thousands of school pupils were unaccounted for by local authorities elsewhere in the UK?”

In a response published on Monday, Ms Gilruth replied: “The Scottish Government does not hold this information centrally. Local authorities may hold this information.”

She added that schools are expected to “follow up absence immediately, and to continue to follow up absence for those for whom there are welfare concerns”.

The SNP Minister also said “local authorities are expected to have robust processes and guidance for children who do not attend school from the first day they are missing until they are re-engaged with education”.

Want to see more SNP fails? – Politics Matters

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter and join the fightback against Scottish Nationalism.