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Created: 14 December 2016 | Last Updated: 14 December 2016 | Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version | Make Text Smaller Make Text Larger |

EIS Welcomes NIF Improvement Plan but Cautions Over Standardised Assessment

14 December 2016

The EIS regards the publication of the 2017 National Improvement Framework Plan for Scottish Education as further evidence of the Scottish Government’s commitment to reducing the achievement gap between Scotland’s most and least disadvantaged young people, an aim which the EIS fully shares.

EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "The EIS has welcomed plans for investment in teacher professionalism and school leadership, and the creation of professional learning opportunities for teachers at all levels and at all stages in their careers.

"Essential for the future healthy development of Scottish education, the EIS would like to see such investment extended, particularly for class teachers.”

Similarly, the Scottish Government’s reiteration of the commitment to significantly reduce levels of bureaucracy and over-assessment in schools that steal valuable time from learning and teaching, is a welcome element of the Improvement Plan. 

Also welcome is the further acknowledgement by Scottish Government of the very important role of qualified teachers within Early Years education, particularly for children who are disadvantaged by socio-economic factors.

While it is to be commended that the Scottish Government will place an additional teacher or Early Years graduate in nurseries in areas of deprivation, the EIS believes that, nationally, all children in every nursery should have minimum access to a qualified teacher in the interests of equity, closing the achievement gap, and of achieving the best outcomes for all.

Equally, the EIS is clear on the crucial role that parents have in their children’s education as reflected in the Plan, and is particularly interested in how the Government will support school communities to take forward family learning and in how participation by parents from a wider range of social backgrounds will be encouraged in order that those who most need supported to be involved in their children’s learning, are.

Mr Flanagan added, "With regards to the assessment of children’s progress, the EIS once again would urge caution, around the planned introduction of standardised assessments and the over-emphasis on attainment data-gathering and publication, which, much international evidence highlights, is counterproductive to children’s learning, particularly for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.

In the coming months, the EIS will monitor developments around this, and all other elements of the Plan, crucially in terms of resourcing, and in terms of the resultant impact of its contents on learners and teachers.”