This item was published during the term of a previous administration that ended in April 2007
Helen Liddell announces review of assessment and testing for 5-14 age group
"Parents and children deserve a reliable and consistent system of assessment and testing. It provides a vital record of achievement and acts as useful information for parents, teachers and children" said Scottish Education Minister Helen Liddell today.
Addressing the annual conference of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland(ADES), Mrs Liddell announced a review of the system of assessment and testing of pupils in the 5 - 14 age group.
Mrs Liddell said:
"We need a clear, modern, reliable system of assessment throughout the 5 - 14 curriculum, especially in the crucial years of S1 and S2.
"Assessment provides a vital record of a child's achievement and acts as useful information for parents, teachers and children. Teachers and parents need to have confidence in the system of testing and assessment. They need to know that it accurately reflects the levels achieved by children.
"The 5 -14 programme began ten years ago and the benefits of national testing and assessment have been clear. However, there is significant inconsistency in how tests are conducted. This makes it difficult to understand the achievement levels of individual children and to reach an overall view on the level of attainment of Scottish pupils.
"We have to sort this out if we are to provide information to parents in which they can have confidence. I have therefore asked HM Inspectors of Schools to review assessment and testing for the 5 - 14 age group. The review will include the question of establishing valid procedures for assessing the capabilities of children when they enter school.
"There are many ways of approaching the question of how best to ensure consistency and reliability in assessment and testing. I am not going to dictate how we should approach the situation, I want to hear from those in the relevant professions how we improve the situation for the benefit of our children. I will consult on how best to improve the present system following the review by HMI."
1. The annual conference of the Association of Directors of Education was held at Dunblane Hydro.
2. 5 -14 national testing arrangements are on a voluntary basis and are currently given at five levels of the curriculum in Maths, Reading and Writing. A pupil is tested when his/her teachers deems it appropriate, with most pupils expected to move on from one level to the next at roughly two year intervals.
3. The most recent monitoring returns submitted by local authorities on the levels of testing were issued by the Scottish Office on 12 February 1998 (S.O. News Release 0154/98).
News Release: 2487/98 27 November 1998