Thursday 29 June 2017

Commenting following a Scottish Government media briefing on the National Improvement Framework and potential National Standardised Testing, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said:

"The EIS remains unconvinced about the need for national standardised testing and we are deeply sceptical about the role of Scottish Government, or its agencies, in handling data which might arise from such tests."

"In particular, we believe that national standardised testing of pupils in Primary 1 is a fundamentally flawed approach to supporting children’s learning at that critical age, which reflects a lack of pedagogical insight from the Scottish Government."

"The recently introduced National Improvement Framework publishes school level data on pupils achieving appropriate CfE levels, based on teacher on professional judgement, and that creates a more than comprehensive reference framework for the diverse needs of all involved in Scottish Education."

"The EIS is clear that assessment data, in any format, should be focused on supporting teaching and learning; that is something which needs to take place at the level of the classroom and school."

"The notion that the Scottish Government might be better placed than teachers to direct classroom practice by micro managing schools from Edinburgh is completely wrong and is a dangerous pathway to venture on to. Ownership of data must rest with the profession, not Government nor its agencies."

"Whilst it may be useful for national trends to be identified from data banks, as an input to policy formation, this should not be facilitated by creating a data monster which the Scottish Government is unable to control and which is then misused to create damaging and discredited league table, target setting agendas across Scottish Education."

"The Scottish Government should commit to creating parameters to data collection which will protect schools and pupils from such an approach. That has not happened, to date."

"The EIS accepts that progress has been made in shaping the Scottish standardised assessments away from an English style high-stakes SATS approach but our position remains that if these tests, in practice, lead to a distortion of effective teaching and learning in our schools then they will be opposed."