Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Tavish Scott MSP today said the Scottish Government is "isolated" in its support for national testing after it was revealed that their International Council of Education Advisers (ICEA) refused to endorse the Scottish Government's approach in a major report.
Concerns expressed during the drafting of the ICEA's 2016-18 Report were revealed in response to a freedom of information request by the Scottish Liberal Democrats.
Other comments on the draft report question the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence and warn that a measure of progress on attainment, previously quoted by John Swinney, is "not a particularly high bar if excellence is a genuine goal."
Tavish Scott MSP said:
"These drafts clearly show that the Scottish Government's own International Council of Education Advisers is not willing to endorse the SNP policy for national testing. Any suggestion that they "welcome" the policy was removed.
"SNP ministers are fixated on national testing even though experts have told them it will do little to tackle the attainment gap, are detrimental to children and swallow up valuable teaching time. Testing 5 year olds is wrong, and ministers should use the summer break to ditch them in time for next year.
"What's more, the documents reveal concerns about the way in which Curriculum for Excellence has been implemented and question whether the Scottish Government's sights are set high enough. It will be embarrassing for John Swinney to see a measure of progress he paraded to Parliament described as "not a particularly high bar".
"When the ICEA told John Swinney to ditch the Education Bill he listened. Scottish education would be in a better place if he was willing to do that more often."