EDUCATION Secretary John Swinney has insisted he will retain the option of bringing forward legislation to reform Scotland’s schools – despite a warning from international experts that better results could be achieved without changing the law.

The Deputy First Minister said he had received “cautionary advice” from the Scottish Government’s International Council of Education Advisers on the matter.

Teachers’ leaders and local government body Cosla both made clear they did not want SNP ministers to introduce legislation. However, Swinney resisted calls to completely ditch the Education (Scotland) Bill – which was dramatically shelved at the end of June – saying legislating to introduce the reforms was still “an option I can bring forward if necessary”.

Just before Holyrood finished for its summer recess, Swinney announced the Bill was being put on hold, claiming changes he wanted to make could be achieved quicker without pushing through new laws.

He insisted at the time that he would bring back the legislation if “sufficient progress is not made” by June 2019.

However, LibDem education spokesman Tavish Scott said teachers saw that as “the threat of another law being imposed on top of them”.