As previously reported, the Scottish Government launched the Scottish National Standardised Assessments on Monday 21st August for use with P1, P4, P7 and S3 for this session and beyond. The assessments cover Numeracy, Reading and Writing (spelling, grammar and punctuation only).

The Scottish Government has stated that the purpose of the assessments is diagnostic and that the relatively small amount of assessment evidence generated by the SNSAs will sit alongside a much more extensive range of assessment evidence to inform planning of learning and teaching, teacher professional judgement around achievement of CfE levels.

The Scottish Government has also stated the clear expectation that the SNSAs will replace all other standardised assessments currently being used by local authorities, and that the timing of SNSAs should be determined by teacher judgement in consultation with schools and local authorities.

For this year only, Scottish Government has indicated that there will be sampling of children’s responses to the assessments within a set period of time for the purposes of standardisation. This may mean that a small number of children and young people will sit two SNSAs in the course of this academic session.

Training for teachers in the use of SNSAs and the data generated by them will be delivered by SCHOLAR, according to need as determined by local authorities. This will be available to teachers in the coming weeks and months.

The EIS remains firm in its position that all assessment should support learning, should be timed appropriately as determined by teacher professional judgement, and should not be conducted with whole cohorts at once.

The EIS continues to reiterate these views to the Scottish Government nationally, and to caution against the publication of assessment data on a school by school basis.

Throughout the session ahead, the Education Committee will be gathering information from local authorities on SNSA implementation, and from Local Association Secretaries and School Reps, to evaluate the extent to which SNSA practice is in line with EIS policy on assessment.

In the meantime, members should:

  • Be familiar with current EIS advice on assessment which can be found here. 
  • Be aware that time for SCHOLAR training in SNSAs should have been accounted for within the School Working Time Agreement
  • Consider including SNSAs as an agenda item at a branch meeting
  • Seek further advice via the School Rep from the Local Association Secretary or EIS Headquarters should you become aware of any breaches with regards to the timing of, presentation patterns for, or misuse of data from, SNSAs; or of continuation of other forms of standardised assessment.