A teenager from a deprived home in Dundee is 11 times less likely to get the grades to go to university than a more affluent classmate, new figures suggest.
Just 1.4% of the poorest students in Dundee achieved at least three Higher A grades last year, compared with 15.8% of the richest, data reveals.
In Fife the only area in Scotland to see a slump in performance for children from all backgrounds only 2% of the poorest scored three As, while 15.6% of its best off pupils achieved the feat.
Both have among the worst figures in Scotland for deprived teenagers getting the very highest grades, at a time when the SNP is coming under pressure to close the attainment gap and get more low income youngsters to university.
Tory leader Ruth Davidson said the SNP had “completely failed” in giving opportunities to the poorest.
Ms Sturgeon told her the gap has closed in some areas, such as level 5 qualifications, but added: “That progress is not enough for me, and I would not expect it to be enough for anyone.”
Stewart Hunter, the education convener at Dundee City Council, said closing the attainment gap is “one of our biggest challenges” and there are short and long term strategies in place.
He added: “We are starting to see progress be made. It is disappointing that once again we have an opposition party making partisan comments because there is an election coming up.”
Fife Council’s head of education, Derek Brown, said: “The problem with the data presented in the report is that it looks at a change over a single year for a particular indicator affecting a small number of young people, which makes the data volatile and difficult to interpret without context. It is also now out of date. Significant improvements in 2015 place it in a context.”