Worries Grow Over Standardized P1 Testing

Education Secretary John Swinney has been urged to scrap testing for five-year olds in their first year of school. This comes after teachers and parents sent in dozens of complaints about the tests.

Schools such as Melrose primary school have had to enforce these tests since last year. The tests caused mixed reactions from trade unions, teachers and parents with many saying the test caused undue stress

Teachers in the Borders must be trained and prepared for tests, narrowing the curriculum for younger kids. This lead to many to suggest teachers may start teaching to the test rather than adequately teaching children basic skills.

There has been cross party support among the Scottish Conservatives, Scottish Labour and the Liberal Democrats to urge the SNP Government to scrap the plans.

South Scotland MSP, Michelle Ballantyne, has raised concerns over what effect standardised testing for P1s would have on children in the Borders, and has called on the Scottish Government to drop their plans.

Michelle Ballantyne MSP commented:

“These tests cause stress and tears for children involved who cannot cope with the testing.

“It does not appear these tests have significant impact or help in the learning and development of young children.

“We must all listen to the advice of experts who know how these tests are impacting in the schools and pupils involved.

“There is growing consensus that P1 tests have little impact on learning.

“Trade unions have warned of teachers getting stressed over class results and parents have talked about undue stress brought upon the children.

“This is not a party-political issue. It is a rare feat in politics when so many parties can agree on an issue.

“The SNP should listen to what parents, children and experts have to say and abandon these dogmatic plans.”