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Created: 20 May 2016 | Last Updated: 20 May 2016 | Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version | Make Text Smaller Make Text Larger |

EIS Issues New Advice on Scottish Government's National Assessment Plans

Friday 20 May 2016 

The EIS has issued interim advice to teachers in relation to the Scottish Government’s National Improvement Framework (NIF) which includes proposals for the introduction of national standardised assessments in all schools.

The EIS supports the aims of NIF to raise attainment and, specifically, to tackle the attainment gap between pupils from more and less affluent backgrounds.

The advice makes clear that all assessment within NIF must be based on sound educational principles, and highlights that the EIS will continue to oppose any aspect of national assessments that conflict with those principles.

Commenting on the publication of the new advice, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "The National Improvement Framework includes many elements that the EIS supports, with the aim of further enhancing our education system and improving equity of educational outcome for all young people.

The EIS has had significant input into the final proposals for the NIF, and challenged earlier versions of the framework which included some particularly controversial proposals on a national testing system.

The final version that has been published is a significant improvement on earlier versions, although many teachers and parents remain extremely sceptical over some of the Scottish Government’s proposals in relation to national standardised assessments in all schools.

It is for the new Cabinet Secretary, John Swinney, to offer reassurance on the Scottish Government’s plans and a firm commitment that there will be no return to high-stakes national testing or a league-table approach to measuring pupil progress.”

Key elements of the final version of NIF that the EIS welcomes include:

  • Recognition of  the primacy of teacher professional judgement in the assessment of pupils
  • Confirmation that CfE levels achieved based on teacher judgement, informed in part by standardised assessment alongside other assessment evidence, will be the basis for any public information
  • Indication that standardised test scores will not be collected (other than on an anonymised sampling basis) nor published for P1, P4, P7 and S3
  • No requirement that pupils should be assessed at a specific point in the year

A copy of the full interim EIS advice can be found here.