The National:

RUTH Davidson had her script at First Minister's Questions and she was going to stick to it – even though it left her looking ridiculous.

In fact, she even gave Nicola Sturgeon a perfect opportunity to attack her record on constituency surgeries.

READ MORE: FMQs live: All the latest from First Minister's Questions

It all began when the Scottish Tory leader challenged the First Minister on a "culture of fear and secrecy", after an anonymous primary school teacher condemned the "teaching crisis".

The teacher, who has more than 13 years of experience (and is an SNP supporter), had sent a letter to Education Secretary John Swinney.

The teacher said a colleague had arranged to meet the Education Secretary to raise concerns directly – but was told "if they went ahead with this meeting they would be disciplined".

Raising the issue at FMQs, Davidson said: "What has it come to when public servants with experience and knowledge in their area are being strong-armed to keep their mouths shut because it might embarrass the Education Secretary?"

She demanded to know if either Sturgeon or Swinney knew about this.

Unfortunately for Davidson, who decided to go for political point-scoring rather than issues in education, the facts didn't quite line up for her.

The First Minister replied: "There are many serious issues in that letter that Ruth Davidson could have raised today, issues that this Government is working hard to address with the teaching profession and others, but on this issue she is on extremely weak ground.

"In this case the Deputy First Minister agreed to meet a teacher, it was the local authority who advised that teacher not to meet.

"We do not decree that local authorities should do that – on the contrary any decree coming from me today to local authorities is that is unacceptable, that teachers should be free to contact me as First Minister, the Deputy First Minister as Education Secretary, or any member of my Government."

That message seems pretty clear. But that didn't stop Davidson, did it? She repeated her criticism: "We do need an openness in government in Scotland – one which welcomes transparency and scrutiny.

"A government that asks teachers to tell them what's happening, and not one that forces them to keep their mouths shut."

This despite Sturgeon just saying "they should feel free" to contact her government.

The First Minister responded: "Let me issue this message to teachers or any other public sector worker across the country – come and tell the Government how you feel about your job and public services, whether that is good or bad.

The National:

"Let me be clear to teachers that they can come and raise anything they want with the Government.

"And let me be clear to every single local authority of every party administration across the country, that it is unacceptable to say to any teacher they will be disciplined for doing so.

"I think I've made that pretty clear."

She got one final jab in at the end, too. Sturgeon said she met teachers regularly at her constituency surgeries, "of which I do many". Davidson is famed for hardly holding surgeries.

Will the Tories ever learn that Scottish voters see past their attempts to play politics?