The leader of the Scottish Tories told the Scottish parliament that the First Minister was “waffling” on to deflect attention away from the Scottish National Party’s mismanagement of education.
Under a challenge from her political rival, Ms Sturgeon argued her party had been working to bring more teachers into the Scottish education system.
She also claimed they had seen a significant increase in the intake of applicants into teacher training programmes.
The First Minister added: “We will continue to look at these issues in a round, and we will continue to drive forward with the plans we are taking forward – the national improvement framework, which is already seeing reforms around school education, the attainment challenge and fund, people equity fund.
I’m pleased the First Minister thinks it’s legitimate for me to ask questions about her failures
“While week after week Ruth Davidson, quite legitimately, gets up and asks questions about this – this government will get on with taking the action that finds the solutions.”
This led to a furious slap down from Ms Davidson who accused the First Minister of swerving her initial question on teach shortages.
She took aim at Ms Sturgeon for ignoring the real issues at hand, instead choosing to celebrate their ten years of Holyrood power.
Ms Davidson said: “What a lot of waffle!
“I’m very pleased the First Minister thinks it’s legitimate for me to ask questions about our failing education system.
“Frankly, I think it’s my duty to ask these questions, and the question that I asked her was what proportion of our schools are constrained in the subjects they can offer their pupils because of teacher shortages – the answer is 70 per cent!
“That was the figure reported to this parliament education committee. 70 per cent of schools who can’t offer their S4 pupils the subjects they want to because her government has not recruited the teachers.
“Instead of facing this crisis, what do we get? We’ve seen backslapping of ten years in power while education is getting worse. The reality is, this is a first minister who has resided over a teacher recruitment crisis.”
Ms Sturgeon replied by suggesting her rival had ignored the areas where under the SNP Scotland has seen progress.
“Our pupils are coming out with record higher passes,” she said. “We have more young people now achieving National Five passes, record numbers of young people going into positive destinations and if they don’t go into further education they are going into training.
“We are starting to see on a number of indicators the beginning of the closing of the gap between the richest and poorest.”