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Closing the Gap? EIS offers qualified welcome to NIF announcement but concerns over National Tests remain

“We remain unconvinced about the efficacy of the proposed new Standardised Assessments and resolutely opposed to any system of national testing”

Whilst the EIS welcomed the Scottish Government’s confirmation of the primacy of teacher professional judgement within the clarification of the structure, aims and procedures of the new National Improvement Framework (NIF) for Scottish education, we remain unconvinced about the efficacy of the proposed new Standardised Assessments and resolutely opposed to any system of national testing which would introduce norm-referenced benchmarking, similar to the SATS programme run by the UK Government in English schools. Many teachers, through the EIS,

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The Scottish Educational Journal

had raised concerns that the proposed introduction of a national system of Standardised Assessment would narrow pupils’ learning and encourage the creation of unofficial and unhelpful ‘league tables’ of schools. These concerns appear to have been listened to by Scottish Government and the further details of the NIF, announced in January by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, offer a degree of reassurance that safeguards will be put in place to prevent misuse of assessment data, most notably that standardised assessment data will not be published independently, being wholly subsumed

within teachers professional judgments about performance across the CfE levels. The document also lays emphasis on the need to support moderation processes and to exemplify more thoroughly appropriate performance levels. It is encouraging that Scottish Government has confirmed the central role of teacher professional judgement in assessing pupil progress and the continuation of the CfE assessment framework, within which the primary purpose of assessment is to support learning. There has been a move away, also,

Profile for EIS SEJ

SEJ February 2016  

Latest issue of the Scottish Education Journal, featuring nursery education, the National Improvement Framework and views on academic testin...

SEJ February 2016  

Latest issue of the Scottish Education Journal, featuring nursery education, the National Improvement Framework and views on academic testin...

Profile for eis-sej
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