FROM the earliest years until adulthood, improving Scotland’s education system should be the number one priority of the next Scottish Government.

The words of former first minister and fellow Glasgow Times columnist Nicola Sturgeon as she sought the votes of Scots during the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.

Her report card – and that of her party at each level of government – since then would be marked with an F for failure.

Only this past week, I have been meeting with worried parents as the recently passed SNP-Green Budget continues to unravel.

Hidden away in this Budget was a brutal cut to the education budget, which our schools will feel the consequences of very soon.

The council administration led by Susan Aitken has never properly cared about our city’s young people. Year after year they’ve hit them with cuts or additional charges, such as a hike in nursery fees. They see them as an easy target for their cuts, yet the SNP think they can do no wrong.

Even when their friends in the Greens joined us and Labour in declaring we had no confidence in a previous SNP education convener, he remained in post.

However, the latest cuts are so sinister that I was astonished at their lack of support for our young people.

These SNP-Green cuts will result in Glasgow losing up to 450 teachers over the next three years. The brilliant MCR Pathways programme, which helps our most deprived kids get into work, will lose vital funding, while £3 million will be cut in relation to early years efficiencies, with no details on what that will mean.

Politicians can look at these cuts in terms of raw numbers, but I am always keen to know what it will mean on the ground.

I met with Carmyle Parent Council who are so concerned by the scale of the cuts, it will mean the Additional Support for Learning staff in their school will be lost entirely.

That means less time for teachers to teach and headteachers to run schools as they have to deal with disruptive behaviour.

And that is just one school. We don’t know the reality yet what it will mean for schools across the city as no programming has been done by the council, while SNP-Green councillors blindly voted it through.

Concerned parents should go and watch our farcical Budget meeting where more than 35 councillors voted for these plans which they hadn’t read just because of party positions. They should be ashamed.

Since the SNP came to power almost 17 years ago, Scotland’s world-leading reputation in education has been destroyed, to the point where the SNP pulled us out of international league tables, but we mustn’t forget that Labour in Holyrood started this failure.

In Glasgow, SNP councillors seem content on hammering young people with their justification being their cuts aren’t as bad as what Labour proposed. All the while the educational attainment gap continues to grow.

Scotland’s children deserve better.

Right now, Scotland has an arrogant First Minister who was fortunate enough to be educated at Hutchesons’, but we shouldn’t simply seek to replace him with another in Anas Sarwar, especially given Labour’s failures in this area as well.

In Aberdeen on Friday, I sat on a panel alongside the Scottish Conservatives education team, led by Liam Kerr MSP. As a father of a one-year-old son, I know who I want running Scotland’s education system.

The Scottish Conservatives have plans to help raise attainment, create a better deal for teachers, focus on early years provision and ensure we support more apprenticeships.

Down south, successive UK Government Conservative education secretaries have ensured England has risen up the league tables in maths, science and English. Why not look at what they are doing?

The SNP have already failed this current generation of young people. I’ll be damned if I allow them to fail my son’s generation.