The EIS has again highlighted teachers' concerns over the use of Scottish National Standardised Assessments (SNSAs), in evidence submitted to the Scottish Parliament's Education and Skills Committee Inquiry into the first year of SNSAs in Scottish schools.

Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "The EIS welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the inquiry on Scottish National Standardised Assessments."

"We have been involved in the debate around SNSAs since their introduction was first announced in 2015. Shortly after the Cabinet Secretary for Education announced his plan to launch SNSAs, he spoke at the EIS Annual General Meeting where teachers left him in no doubt as to their concerns about Standardised Assessment."

"The EIS has continued to seek the views of our members, and provide feedback to the Scottish Government, since the SNSA programme was launched."

Mr Flanagan continued, "The EIS is of the firm view that all assessment, both by its design and method of delivery, including feedback to children and young people, should genuinely support learning."

"Unfortunately, our initial evaluation of the extent to which this has proven to be the case in the first year of SNSA implementation is a negative one. The implementation of the assessments has largely breached agreed guidelines, moving SNSAs in practice towards a high stakes testing approach which runs counter to the stated aims of the programme."

Mr Flanagan added, "The EIS has been baffled by the intensity with which the Scottish Government appear welded to the principle of National Standardised Assessment. Since 2015, no one in Scotland has come forward with substantial evidence of the virtue of such a model nor has any academic journal or conclusive system research been cited as the rationale for SNSAs as a tool for realising greater educational equity."

"On the contrary, there is strong evidence to suggest large-scale standardised testing is an inhibitor of equity, and of student wellbeing which is inextricably linked to young people's ability to make good progress in learning."

He concluded, "The future of SNSAs should be decided on educational research evidence, however, and not on party politicking."

A copy of the full EIS submission can be found here.