Nicola Sturgeon is letting down a generation of pupils as youngsters aged between 14 and 18 face being taught in the same class together, the Tories have claimed.
Scottish Conservative interim leader Jackson Carlaw attacked the first minister over what he described as the “subject choice crisis” in schools.
He pressed her on the issue after MSPs on Holyrood’s Education Committee were told some schools were having to teach pupils studying for National 4, National 5 and Higher qualifications in the same class.
At First Minister’s Questions, Mr Carlaw said: “Curriculum for Excellence is so confusing with too few teachers, pupils at different levels are being taught together.
“Not just at National 4 and 5 but at Higher, too. In consequence, a 14-year-old and even an 18-year-old could be being taught in the same classroom. I don’t think that is appropriate.”
His attack came as the Conservatives highlighted falling teacher numbers in the north-east as part of its campaign for a “fair deal” for the area.
The Tories said between 2007 and 2018, the number of teachers in Aberdeen city, Aberdeenshire, Angus and Moray fell from 6,810 to 6,376.
Aberdeenshire West MSP Alexander Burnett said that Scotland’s once-envied education system was falling behind as a result of the SNP “obsession with independence to the detriment of all else”.
At Holyrood, Ms Sturgeon defended her record saying more pupils were now getting qualifications at level five and Higher level and the attainment gap was closing.