Education Secretary should ‘cut his losses’ & scrap standardised testing of five-year-olds

Education Secretary John Swinney was today (5 Sep) told by Scottish Greens education spokesperson Ross Greer MSP to ‘cut his losses’ and scrap the standardised testing of five-year-olds before the Scottish Parliament votes to instruct him to do so.

Scottish Greens have been consistently opposed to standardised testing in schools, arguing instead for investment in additional teachers and support staff, but this afternoon Mr Swinney said he remained committed to the assessments. He was reminded that a majority of MSPs support the end of at least the Primary One tests, which have reportedly left children in tears and teachers frustrated by the time wasted on an exercise which they do not find of use. 

Scottish Greens education spokesperson Ross Greer MSP said:

“Standardised testing in primary schools is unwanted and unnecessary, and sooner or later Scottish Ministers will be told to scrap at least the assessment of five-year-olds by the parliamentary majority of Greens and other opposition parties. John Swinney should cut his losses and just scrap them now. 

"Instead he shows breathtaking complacency on an issue that has caused additional stress for pupils, parents and teachers. The weight of international evidence and the approach taken by countries like Finland, whose excellent education systems we are trying to emulate, stand completely opposed to this obsession with testing. The SNP would do well to listen before being forced to suffer yet another humiliating parliamentary defeat.”