McArthur: National testing will only increase teacher stress and workload

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesman Liam McArthur MSP has today said the First Minister's plans to plough on with reintroducing national standardised testing are at odds with an announcement today of government examination of ways to reduce teacher stress and workload.

Mr McArthur made his comments after Education Secretary Angela Constance revealed a group has been created to make recommendations on tackling bureaucracy in schools and minimising teachers' workload and stress following the introduction of new National Qualifications in 2013-14.

Mr McArthur said: “Scottish teachers are being stretched to the limit. Not only are they having to get to grips with new qualifications introduced by the Scottish Government, but they are also coping with increased class sizes and face the prospect of deep cuts to council education budgets.

“Although I’m pleased this group will examine issues surrounding teacher stress and workload following the introduction of the new National Qualifications, this is at odds with the First Minister's determination to reintroduce national standardised testing.  Rolling back the years with this return to a Thatcherite policy will only increase workload for teachers as well as stress levels for teachers and pupils alike.”

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