Jo Swinson: ‘It is a fact many more young people in Bearsden go to university than go from Govan’

East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson has responded to criticism from the SNP over comments she made on BBC Question Time about inequalities in Scottish education.

Friday, 31st May 2019, 6:40 pm
Jo Swinson is the running to become UK Lib Dem leader. Picture: John Devlin

The Lib Dem deputy leader used an appearance on the BBC’s flagship political debate show last night (Thursday) to claim just four per cent of children growing up in Govan were going on to university.

Today (Friday), the SNP, including local MSP Gil Paterson and SNP MP for Glasgow South West, Chris Stephens called on her to issue a full retraction for “fake figures and patronising claims” about children in Glasgow.

In a statement to the Herald, Ms Swinson said: “It is a fact that many more young people in Bearsden go to university than go from Govan. The Scottish Government’s own statistics bear that out. Closing the attainment gap is supposed to be the SNP’s priority. They should be ashamed.

“Barriers in the system are preventing young people from having equal opportunities in life, regardless of their postcode.

“This journey starts with early education and it is the best investment government can make to transform a child’s life chances.”

Glasgow City Council’s director of education, Maureen McKenna, said the most recently available figures showed that 13 per cent of pupils leaving Govan High School went on to university, while 24 per cent went on to higher education.