Cross party support for parliamentary motion calling for the P1 national tests to be scrapped

13th September 2018

Connect is pleased to see cross party support from all the opposition parties for the Scottish Parliamentary motion calling for the P1 Scottish National Standardised Assessments (SNSAs) to be scrapped.  You can read the motion here.

However, in the midst of political controversy it is important to remember what is at the heart of the issue: improving educational outcomes for children. Gathering national data does not improve outcomes for children: it is the work of teachers and the support of parents and families which makes that difference. Any assessment data should focus on improved conversations between teachers, parents and children about their learning.

The Scottish Government’s aim of closing the attainment gap is admirable and is one we share. However, we have always argued that these assessments fly in the face of the principles of Curriculum for Excellence, where the focus in early primary is on learning through play, not learning to sit tests. Indeed, Connect has opposed the standardised assessment approach from its inception: assessment itself is the bread and butter of teaching, but feeding national data gathering is not.

The implication that these tests add significantly to the knowledge and understanding built up by a teacher who works day in, day out with a pupil is frankly ludicrous.