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Net is tightened on performance data

Primaries and secondaries in West Lothian are being pressed to review performance data on individual pupils to ensure no one slips through the improvement net.

Schools now use a battery of measures including standardised tests, cognitive ability tests and information on exams from the Scottish Executive to record progress but sometimes fail to pick up on pupils'

strengths and weaknesses.

After sampling schools in a best practice exercise, the authority is recommending a fresh approach and the controversial new posts of principal teachers (curriculum), with their focus on quality assurance, will be in the front line of the improvement agenda.

In primaries, "all" teachers are being urged to focus on revised approaches to assessment, spelt out in the Assessment is for Learning national document. Pupils should be more involved in self-evaluation.

In the secondary sector, principal teachers are encouraged to be more "proactive in directing the department towards improved attainment and achievement". Teachers should visit other schools to become more aware of good practice and standards.

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