THE Tories have “weaponised children's educations” in an attempt to attack the SNP with a scare story in the right-wing press, an expert has said.

Megan Gallagher has been accused of peddling “grubby politics” by claiming the Scottish Government was planting “propaganda” in schools.

The row comes after the Mail on Sunday ran a story about an assignment for Modern Studies pupils in Aberdeen which involved them researching both sides of the Scottish independence debate in a 13-lesson series.

They were referred to a link for the SNP’s website for one part of the lesson about Nicola Sturgeon’s “important policies”.

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The paper said there had been numerous rows over “biased” teaching materials in school under the SNP.

James McEnaney, an author and lecturer, said: “You get this all the time, where part of a broader teaching thing gets taken out of context.

“People should always be wary when they see blatantly partisan organisations and blatantly untrustworthy politicians, trying to weaponise things happening in classrooms.

"Somebody with an agenda comes along and decides, basically what I’m going to do today is weaponise children.

“Politicians simply do not know enough to know to make a judgement on if these things are valid or not, especially out of context."

And he raised fears it was lowering the level of national conversation and making it harder for genuine policy mistakes to be criticised in good faith.

“Things like this are what has made it basically impossible to hold the SNP to account on education”, McEnaney added.

“It muddies everything and it makes it impossible to get through to real stories because people just stop caring when they see stuff like this.”

Gallacher shared the story on Twitter with the caption: “Our young people should be able to learn in an environment free of political persuasion and propaganda. Welcome to SNP Scotland.”

The original article carried a quote from the chair of the right-wing pressure group Campaign for Real Education, Chris McGovern.

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He said: “This is a shameless use of the classroom to promote party political propaganda that has no place in Scottish schools.

"I urge parents to challenge such brainwashing of their children. Schools should not be regarded as vehicles for promoting the SNP or any other party. Educational underachievement must be the priority for Scottish schools, not the creation of young nationalists beating a drum for their Supreme Leader."

McGovern also writes blogs for the website The Conservative Woman and was a headteacher for 35 years, as well as an adviser to the No 10 Policy Unit.

Aberdeen City Council said: “This factfile is a series of 13 lessons around the Scottish independence debate where students consider arguments for and against."