SCOTTISH Tory leader will today put education at the heart of his party’s Holyrood manifesto with a £550m schools plan.

The Moray MP will use an online events with parents to set out plans to increase teacher numbers by 3000 and “restore Scotland’s schools” over the next parliament.

The move is part of Tory efforts to move the debate away from the constitution and onto the domestic agenda.

The pledge for 3000 teachers would depend on extra UK Government spending south of the border generating ‘consequentials’ under the Barnett formula funding consequentials, plus “savings from delivering key projects on time”.

Mr Ross said: “Over these last six years, Scotland has been stuck debating the same argument instead of building for the future.

“In spite of the First Minister’s infamous pledge to judge her on education, our schools are stuck down the list of SNP priorities.

“Before the pandemic, Scotland’s schools were struggling from the SNP cutting teacher numbers by nearly 3000.

Multi-level teaching was rife and subject choice cuts were limiting pupils’ ambitions.

“Those avoidable tensions are now ramping up. There are not enough teachers to deliver smaller classes and meet the demands of absences related to Covid. The focus of the next six years must be schools, not separation.”