Rennie on national tests being “slippery path” to league tables

Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie has today reiterated his calls for national tests for P1s to be scrapped after damning correspondence from the EIS suggested the Scottish Government’s approach to testing was the “first step on a slippery path to SATS and the target setting, league table approaches we have left behind.”

In a blistering letter, the teaching union also said:

  • "the EIS was far from reassured by the outcomes of the SNSA user review"
  • "None of our members reported the assessments to be 'stimulating', as was claimed in the report"
  • support was withdrawn from children with additional needs and directed instead to SNSA delivery
  • the tests caused "the swallowing up of time that would be better spent on quality learning and teaching"
  • “The claim that these assessments are critical to closing the attainment gap is fallacious” as they "do not provide any discrete or unique information"
  • the Scottish Government "suggests falsely that the problems experienced with the SNSAs have been down to teachers’ implementation of them.”

Willie Rennie said:

“Teachers have nothing positive to say about P1 tests. The Education Secretary has attempted to dig his way out of this hole by claiming the tests are useful or stimulating, but every piece of evidence from teachers says otherwise.

“We’ve warned for some time of these tests being used to create Thatcherite league tables for children as young as five. The EIS is worried that’s on the horizon too.

“Teachers have a much firmer grasp on their pupils’ progress than SNP ministers do. Far from helping pupils that need extra support, children throughout primary schools had their existing additional support removed for weeks because staff had to be diverted to helping P1s get through this test.

“John Swinney should immediately scrap P1 testing so that no more classroom time is tied up producing this useless data.”

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