Scottish Labour Call to Scrap Controversial P1 Testing

By Erin Kearns

Scottish Labour have lodged a parliamentary motion at Holyrood calling for the standardised National testing of Primary 1 pupils to be abolished.

East Lothian MSP, Iain Gray, pictured above, will table a motion calling for the standardised national testing to be scrapped for the young pupils after feedback from teachers claims that their Primary 1 pupils have been left shaking, crying and distressed by the “unnecessary and cruel” tests.

John Swinney, the Scottish Education Secretary has said he is committed to the Scottish national standardised assessments at all levels despite the heavy opposition cross-party.

Last week Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie wrote to other party leaders urging them to join a bid to force a vote on the controversial tests “as soon as possible”.

Iain Gray claims that the SNP’s are “refusing to listen to the fountaining evidence against them is bordering on farcical.”

Mr Gray also states that John Swinney is refusing to listen to teacher and parents and claims that the tests “drive children to tears, waste vital classroom time and provide no help to close the attainment gap

“Labour will continue to work to build cross-party and non-party opposition to these tests. That is why I have lodged a motion at Holyrood this week calling from the tests to be scrapped for primary ones.

“The SNP could have ditched these tests in the Programme for Government last week, if education really is the government’s top priority, ministers should listen to the sheer number of voices telling them these tests have to go.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said: “Standardised assessments are delivered as part of everyday learning and provide consistent evidence for teachers to identify the next steps in a child’s learning, which is especially valuable in the early years if we are to continue to close the attainment gap.

“Our review of the first year of operation found that many teachers were pleased with the information provided, while the average Primary 1 assessment took less than half an hour in the year.

“Enhancements and improvements this year will provide a better experience for younger pupils and extra reassurance to teachers and parents.”


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