Online Scottish National Standardised Assessments: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/17/03063
Date received: 21 December 2017
Date responded: 23 January 2018

Information requested

You asked for any documentation and communications related to the Scottish Government assessing the numbers of pupil-accessible digital devices available in schools on which the new Scottish National Standardised Assessments can be undertaken during the process which led to the decision to introduce digital-only Scottish National Standardised Assessments.


While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. The kind of adaptive assessment that the Scottish National Standardised Assessment (SNSA) provides can only be provided online and the attached document highlights that schools' IT capability was highlighted as a concern early in the development process. However, this concern dissipated during the ongoing development of the assessments. No concerns were raised by local authority representatives or professional organisations about IT capability, in large part because most schools already have the necessary capability and capacity given that they have undertaken existing standardised assessments on digital platforms for some time.

In addition, the decision to allow schools to undertake assessments at a time of their choice relieves any potential pressure on the availability of IT resource and the contractor has developed the online system to be compatible with a wide variety of technical platforms. This has significantly reduced the risks that may have emerged on IT capability. Over 75,000 assessments have been taken this year and very few concerns have been raised with us about schools' IT capability. On that basis no formal assessment of IT capability has been carried out during the development of the SNSA. We continue to engage with all stakeholders on this, and other potential delivery risks on a regular basis.

Reasons for not providing information

The Scottish Government does not have the information:

The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because no formal assessment of IT capability was carried out during the development of the Scottish National Standardised Assessments (SNSA). An early document raised a question around schools' IT capabilities, and that is attached for your information.

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI-17-03063-National Improvement Framework 2015.pdf


Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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