SCOTLAND’S education system used to be the envy of the world – what a pity the SNP ever got their hands on it.

That was my overwhelming conclusion last week when I read the findings from the Programme for International Assessment (PISA) results.

More than 700,000 15-year-old pupils’ performance is analysed across the world including Scots of that age in maths, reading and science.

Humza Yousaf at least had the honesty to admit at First Minister’s Questions that the results were poor when challenged by Douglas Ross.

However, that is a late contender for understatement of the year from the First Minister.

Far from being world-leading, we now trail Latvia in science, Estonia in reading and Lithuania in maths.

Our maths and science scores are at their worst-ever levels. Our reading score is at its joint-worst on record.

The SNP love comparing Scotland with England but on this one – where we trail our neighbours south of the border – they haven’t been as keen. Funny that.

These results expose the shameful legacy of Yousaf’s predecessor Nicola Sturgeon. She repeatedly insisted that education was her number one priority, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Much like when she oversaw drug deaths hitting record levels, Sturgeon’s eye was well and truly off the ball. Her and her party’s record on education is one of abject failure and broken promises.

They’ve failed to come anywhere near eradicating the poverty-related attainment gap in our schools that they promised to do.

The roll-out of free laptop devices to every pupil has just been delayed again and violence in our schools is now an epidemic on the SNP’s watch.

And they still had the gall to try and claim the PISA study showed Scotland maintained our international standing. That was some shameless spin even by the SNP’s standards.

The results are a national disgrace yet the SNP refuse to act and deny their flawed education reforms have cost Scotland’s pupils dearly. As the father of a wee boy who is yet to turn one, I am worried about the future of our education system and what it holds in store for Joshua.

All aspects of our education system are broken under the SNP. Early years education – which is so crucial for future development – is now buckling under the pressure as a result of the SNP’s failure to fully fund councils and providers. Dedicated staff are doing their best to give children that all-important early years development but are doing so with one hand tied behind their backs.

All that will do is have a serious detrimental impact on a pupil by the time they start primary school at the age of four or five.

Our young people have already suffered enough in recent years due to the disruption caused by the Covid pandemic.

Teachers and parents are at their wits’ end yet Yousaf wants to bury his head in the sand.

As not only an opposition politician but a father as well, I want to see leadership from those in charge in the SNP.

Education is fully devolved, so they cannot pass the buck on this one and avoid responsibility for their overwhelming failures.

We can’t keep hearing an acceptance that the results aren’t good enough – we need to see action to fix them. Otherwise Joshua’s generation will be let down too.