"The SNP's neglect and mismanagement of Scottish education has been a scandal", she is set to tell the Scottish Conservative conference in Glasgow.
May said nationalists play "politics as if it is a game", at a time when she was committed to maintaining the unity of Britain ahead of its exit from the European Union.
The Conservative leader will also stress that it is a personal priority of hers to "strengthen and sustain the bonds that unite us".
"I am determined to ensure that as we leave the European Union, we do so as one United Kingdom, which prospers outside the European Union as one United Kingdom", May said.
The "sheer intransigence" of the British government over Brexit could lead to a second Scottish independence referendum, the head of the devolved Scottish government said on Tuesday.
In a speech nearly entirely devoted to criticising the SNP and making the case for the future of the United Kingdom, May said there was "no economic case" for Scottish independence.
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"We will always work to improve our public services - but absurdly ill-informed comments like this do the prime minister no favours".
"Just this week we learned the SNP Government has delayed its planned education Bill, such is their obsession with the single issue of independence".
But Mrs May made clear the UK must not become a "looser and weaker Union", adding: "We can not allow our United Kingdom to drift apart". As Alex Massie details in this week's Spectator cover piece, the SNP's hopes of a political dividend from Brexit have come to nothing.
"As we bring powers and control back to the United Kingdom, we must ensure that right powers sit at the right level to ensure our United Kingdom can operate effectively and in the interests of all of its citizens, including people in Scotland". "Politics is about people's lives, it's about delivering for people on the issues that really matter to them on a day-to-day basis, and I can't help but feel that the SNP has a tunnel vision about independence".
In a marked escalation of her attacks on the first minister's demand for far greater autonomy for the Scottish parliament after Brexit, May warned there would be a strict limit to any extra powers and spending.
"Scotland has many assets as a country and GDP per head is higher than that of the United Kingdom as a whole", he added. In a speech to the Scottish Tory conference in Glasgow, May attempted to turn the tables on Sturgeon. In return the United Kingdom government has so far been one of obstinacy and intransigence.