Teachers are being encouraged to ‘embed’ the Scots language in the classroom, despite literacy standards falling.

The SNP is driving teachers towards new training courses which aim to further integrate Scots language and culture into schools.

More than 120 teachers specialising in different subjects have signed up to courses being delivered by the Open University, with funding from the Scottish Government.

It opens up the prospect of Scots words being used to teach maths or science in mainstream schools.

But it has sparked a row over taxpayers’ money being spent on promoting the Scots language at a time of growing concern over declining skills in the ‘three Rs’.

Scottish Tory education spokesman Liam Kerr said: ‘Scotland’s education system is in crisis: violence in schools has soared, teachers have been left languishing on temporary contracts and we’ve tumbled down education rankings.

‘The SNP needs to focus on the real priorities facing schools first. Given that pupils’ literacy rates have declined so significantly on their watch, many people will feel that the SNP should focus on improving the delivery of languages already in schools before trying to add in anything new.’

The Open University states there is a ‘need and demand for high-quality training material specifically for teachers to improve and develop their skills in and knowledge of Scots language teaching’.

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