Numerous accounts of stressed out children have been submitted to John Swinney by teachers and parents who have complained about the tests to the Education Secretary. The Scotsman reports.
Reports of five-year-olds being reduced to tears and claims by teachers that the tests disrupt learning have led to renewed calls for the policy to be scrapped.
The catalogue of complaints was obtained from the Scottish Government through a Freedom of Information request made by the Scottish Liberal Democrats.
Scottish national standardised assessments (SNSA) were introduced across four age groups to help measure the attainment gap in schools. However, dozens of staff working across the country have contacted the Scottish Government directly to outline a catalogue of serious concerns about P1 tests and urge ministers to ditch them.
Teaching union Educational Institute of Scotland has submitted more than 170 pages of comments from its members to ministers, describing the contents as “grim reading”.
One teacher said “the stress of making children answer a question that they can’t understand is unnecessary and cruel” while another said the tests “completely contradict” efforts to promote good mental health.
The criticisms made in the EIS document included a teacher saying the tests were “soul destroying” for the youngsters.
Another said: “This abstract assessment told me no more about my children than I already knew. In fact in many cases it reflected negatively on their abilities in comparison to what they can do day in day out…”
Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie said “There is no salvaging this policy and if it continues it will be because ministers are more interested in saving face than they are in giving children the best start to their schooling.”
Teachers in England, does this sound familiar? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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