According to the report, some Malaysian medical students in overseas universities are said to use the shortcut to go straight to university, without the SSLN
That report cites the SSLN data 27 times and at no point suggests the data is in any way not fit-for-purpose.
It's hard not to conclude that the SNP's decision to stop the SSLN survey is motivated by the fact that it exposes failings on their part - and that they're fearful of what the next ones might show.
Combine the SSLN findings with the PISA results and a clear picture emerges - on the SNP's watch, overall standards in Scottish education have dropped and pupils from the mostdeprived areas are the ones suffering the most.
I am therefore not convinced that it is especially helpful to attempt to use SSLN data as an overall measurement of the attainment gap.
SSLN data certainly suggests that the gap between the most-deprived and leastdeprived children is, at best, not being closed.
The one thing the SSLN data does show with absolute certainty is that the so-called attainment gap is, in fact, a poverty gap, and that it is very real.
Some of this may be a reflection of obvious flaws in the SSLN assessment itself but there is no question that the gap between rich and poor is as glaring as ever.
Responding to the issues raised by the SSLN, John Swinney claimed that the problems have come about because teachers haven't had sufficient "clarity" about the importance of literacy and numeracy as "the absolute foundations for life".