The UK’s Education Secretary has warned Scotland’s school standards have “plummeted” because Scottish ministers prioritised “nationalist politics” above pupils.

Writing in the Scotland on Sunday newspaper, Gillian Keegan delivered a scathing verdict on First Minister Humza Yousaf’s education record.

Her comments follow the publication by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) of the latest Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) rankings for 2022.

Ms Keegan, a Chichester MP, said Scotland was “once the envy of the world for education” but warned that the latest Pisa results were a “tale of two records” with England “continuing to rise up the international rankings versus a failing Scottish system at the brink of collapse”.

She said: “This situation hasn’t happened by chance. Different parts of the UK have taken fundamentally different (approaches) to education.

“Under the SNP, standards have plummeted due to their progressive ideology they have refused to follow our lead on academisation, they have watered down the rigour of their exams and they have refused to open themselves up for scrutiny, pulling out of two international rankings.”

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