Minister tries to ease worries over new tests in Scotland

Government policy
New national tests to be introduced in Scotland from next August will not be “high-stakes” nor create extra work for teachers or pupils, according to education secretary John Swinney.

All children in P1, P4, P7 and S3 will sit the online reading, writing and numeracy assessments, which will be developed by ACER International UK, a branch of the Australian Council for Educational Research, a non-profit organisation. However, no revision will be necessary and there will be no pass or fail, Mr Swinney said.

The Scottish government has published leaflets on the tests for teachers and parents, with a maximum time limit of 50 minutes for each test and questions getting easier if a pupil is struggling and harder if they are doing well.

The tests will be marked automatically online, with immediate feedback for teachers. The leaflet states: “We do not expect the majority of children to require the full 50 minutes.”

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