NATIONAL TESTS: GREENS SAY TEACHER SUPPORT MORE IMPORTANT
Isla O'Reilly, the Scottish Greens' spokesperson on Education, Children and Young People, today welcomed comments by teaching union the EIS and experts at Stirling University casting doubt on the Scottish Government's proposed national testing of school pupils.
In evidence to Holyrood's education committee, the EIS has highlighted the need to tackle inequalities but that resources for measures such as smaller class sizes have been limited.
Academics from the School of Education at the University of Stirling question whether tests help develop skills needed for employment and raise concerns that testing may result in lowered motivation, stress and anxiety in pupils.
Isla O'Reilly, Scottish Green MSP candidate for the Highlands and Islands, said:
"Children's needs are multiple, and it's simplistic to imagine we can help those from poorer background do better by bringing in national testing. The EIS is right to highlight the lack of resources to deliver what makes a difference, such as smaller class sizes, as this means teachers struggle to get to know their pupils and their circumstances. Standardised testing would take time away from teachers actually teaching.
"Classroom sizes have gone up since 2007, while spending per pupil has remained flat. Rather than national testing, our priorities should be investment in support for teachers, many of whom work 11 hours per week beyond their contractual commitment, and support for pupils with Additional Support Needs, as this disproportionally affects lower income families."