- 21 Sep 2018
Date received: 17 August 2018
Date responded: 14 September 2018
(a) On what date did BBC Radio Scotland first contact the Scottish Government requesting that the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills appear on their phone in (as he did on 16 August 2018).
(b) Please provide a copy of all the correspondence and discussions, internal and external, relating to this appearance.
Please provide a copy of all the evidence that the Scottish Government has that there are "people who emphatically argue for P1 assessments", as stated by the Cabinet Secretary on 16 August 2018.
(a) Please provide a copy of the evidence cited by the Cabinet Secretary on 16 August 2018 that shows the standardised numeracy assessment takes on average 22 minutes for a P1 child to complete the test.
Having considered all relevant information I have attached a pdf file with all available information included.
2. The approach to national standardised assessment was developed after extensive engagement with teachers, parents, children and academics. There is a wide ranging support for formative assessment amongst the teaching profession and there is extensive research highlighting the positive benefits of formative assessment. For example, Dylan William, Emeritus Professor of Educational Assessment at University College London, presents research that shows formative assessment practices have a much greater impact on educational achievement than most other reforms. W. James Popham has authored books, journals and research reports and explains the research supporting formative assessments. We have also drawn evidence from a range of advice and publications, including from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) – specifically their publication Synergies for Better Learning: An International Perspective on Evaluation and Assessment and Education Policy Outlook 2015.
The use of standardised assessment in Scotland is not new, the SNSAs build on current practice – 29 of the 32 local authorities were already using standardised assessments. This sustained practice over a significant number of years provided early diagnostic information to teachers to inform next steps in learning. The introduction of SNSA, aligned to Curriculum for Excellence and designed specifically for the Scottish educational context, has ensured consistency across Scotland. Extensive engagement with practitioners show that the SNSA is both welcomed and is an upgrade on previous standardised assessments. Working with Education Scotland, case studies are being produced to further support this.
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to a small amount of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, ie names and contact details of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998. This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House