Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie today published the overwhelming volume of complaints that the Scottish Government has received from teachers about national testing for primary one children and said they should leave Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney in no doubt that they must be abolished for those starting school this August.
Acquired by the party through a freedom of information request, the bulk of complaints were sent to to the government in May and June when most tests were taking place.
Of those who emailed ministers directly, no professionals supported the continuation of the tests in their current form. Meanwhile, the EIS gave ministers 172-pages worth of comments from teachers, broken down by council area, which the teaching union described as "grim reading".
Willie Rennie commented:
"Hundreds upon hundreds of complaints now show the chaos ministers inflicted on their classrooms last year, at the expense of tens of thousands of children.
"The feedback from teachers from every corner of Scotland is brutal. Testing P1s was clearly soul destroying and countless teachers report their classes and learning grinding to a halt for weeks.
"Teachers have told ministers of their heartbreak at putting their pupils through something which they can see is harming their progress and causing distress. They are angry that already stretched teaching and support staff are being occupied by these tests for weeks on end instead of being in class for their pupils.
"And for what? Teachers are unanimous in saying that they don't think the resulting data is remotely reliable, useful or fair. The results are destined for the shredder.
"The sheer volume of complaints and horror stories obliterate the SNP Government's claims that their national tests are in the best interest of five-year-olds and are age-appropriate.
"Making those starting primary one this August do national tests cannot be justified. There is no salvaging this policy and if it continues it will be because ministers are more interested in saving face than they are in giving children the best start to their schooling."