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Scottish Labour call for end to standardised testing in schools

Standardised testing in schools should be scrapped – that’s the message from Scottish Labour.

The tests – introduced last year – are taken by pupils in Primary 1, P4, P7 and Secondary 3 and are designed to gather data.

Labour claim the tests “contribute nothing” – and want to create a new Scottish Survey for Literacy and Numeracy.

But Education Secretary John Swinney says Labour’s proposals would do “nothing” to meet the “educational needs of young people”.

Iain Gray, Labour’s education spokesperson, said:
“Scotland’s schools should be the best in the world – but that means facing the rest of the world when measuring the performance of our schools.
“The SNP is attempting to remove an internationally recognised standard of educational attainment – this is an inward looking step and could have a detrimental effect on how we perform as a country.
“The SNP should drop this decision and suspend their standardised assessments which have left pupils in tears.
“Instead, the Government should reintroduce a new Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy, and renew participation in PIRLS and TIMSS.
“After eleven years in Government the SNP are manufacturing their own accountability, picking and choosing measures of attainment.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“Assessments are not a new concept and the vast majority of local authorities have been carrying them out for years. The Scottish National Standardised Assessments ensure for the first time that all schools will undertake the same assessments, providing consistency and an important means for teachers to identify children’s next steps in learning.

“That is especially valuable in early years if we are to continue to close the attainment gap.

“Our approach was developed after extensive engagement with teachers, parents, children and academics. Teachers have the flexibility to manage the assessments to ensure that they are a positive experience for all children.

“Our review of the first year of assessments listened to the experience of teachers and children. We will shortly set out changes and enhancements to the system for next year.

“The Labour Party’s proposals would do nothing to meet the educational needs of individuals young people. That is the focus of the Scottish Government’s approach.”

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