SCOTLAND’S leading historian has criticised the version of UK history presented in the official material read by people preparing to pass tests as part of the Home Office requirement to become British citizens.

Sir Tom Devine, professor emeritus at University of Edinburgh, was told of the omission of the independence referendum in key events listed since 2010 and said such sidelining was part of a trend.

“This is not untypical of the recent attitude to Scotland of the UK Government during the Johnson administration period,” he said.

“The former relationship between London and Edinburgh, which was one of respect, seems to have vanished, hopefully temporarily, during recent years.”

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He added: “It is a small indicator but part of a general pattern which has emerged of the marginalisation of the Scottish nation under this current Tory administration in London.”

Devine said as a historian, he often reflected on the situation that the “English elites” attending Oxbridge had little access to Scottish history because of a lack of courses on the subject at those two universities – though Irish history courses were taught.

“I hope I will be refuted on this, but there is no course on Scottish history currently available at the elite universities in England, especially at Oxford and Cambridge. If I am wrong I would welcome a response to this.

“That therefore means that the awareness of Scottish sensitivities and the fact that Scotland for several hundred years was a distinctive European nation is often forgotten.”

The tests asks questions on British history, culture and politics. Participants must answer 24 multiple choice questions in 45 minutes, and must get 18 correct to pass. They must attend special testing centres and pay £50 to enter.

To prepare for the tests, information is provided in a guide about life in the UK. However, the account of Britain is subjective, with it strongly slanted to key events and people and places in England.

For instance, it gives the full text of the UK national anthem but does not include the lyrics of the Scottish national anthem, Flower of Scotland.

A section on architecture does not mention the celebrated Scottish architects Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Alexander “Greek” Thomson, while a section on painters does not mention the Scottish colourists.

The only Scottish painter listed among 10 celebrated painters section is David Allan.

Among the “notable British artists” included in the list are Thomas Gainsborough, Joseph Turner, John Constable, Henry Moore and David Hockney.

Scottish novelists Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle do get a mention in a list of “notable authors and writers”.

Sections devoted to the history of England dominate the history section, including detailed accounts of the Norman Conquest, the Wars of the Roses, Henry VIII and his six wives and his daughter Queen Elizabeth.

The life and execution of Mary Queen of Scots is covered in a short section, though the life and death of William Wallace is not.

READ MORE: Do you know the answers to these Government practice questions on UK life?

Detailed accounts are also given about the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell and the English Republic and the Restoration.

There is also a section on “the British Empire” which fails to mention any of its negative legacies, while a section on Margaret Thatcher omits her controversial policies such as trialling the poll tax in Scotland or her handling of the miners’ strike. Just a few sentences are devoted to the UK’s membership of the European Union – one of which is about the UK leaving.

A number of sections are devoted to devolution in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, yet none of the first ministers of any of the nations are mentioned by name. The separate Scottish legal system is mentioned.

A Home Office spokesperson denied lack of attention to Scotland.

The spokesperson said: “These claims are inaccurate – the Life in the UK test covers the regional differentiations of the devolved administrations, including different processes in the judiciary and currency variations. The Home Office ensures that all tests contain questions relevant to the nation they are taken in. We have materials available online and in print which cover all the essential knowledge needed, including practice questions and answers, and keep the test and its contacts constantly under review.”