Scotland’s teachers cautious over new standardised tests

Scotland’s biggest teaching union has welcomed a government assurance that new standardised testing will not eclipse teachers’ judgement of how pupils are progressing.

Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister, has laid out plans to help close the “unacceptable gap” between schools in richer and poorer areas. National tests in P1, P4, P7 and the third year of secondary form a key part of this National Improvement Framework.

However, instead of publishing the full results for the literacy and numeracy tests – which unions said was likely to bring back “crude” league tables and teaching to the test – the Scottish government will reveal the percentage of pupils in each school meeting the required standards. Teachers will make this judgement, taking into account the test performance.

Larry Flanagan, head of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), said he was still unconvinced of the need for standardised tests.

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