Imaginative response, says EIS

28th September 2001 at 01:00
Neil Munro reports on the debate over the Education Minister's revamped assessment regime

THE Executive's "constructive" approach was welcomed by the president of the Educational Institute of Scotland. Sandy Fowler said it was built on good practice and acknowledged the need for schools to be able to operate flexibly.

Judith Gillespie of the Scottish Parent Teacher Council described the proposals as an "imaginative and proper response" which avoided the fixed tests Michael Forsyth unsuccessfully attempted to introduce in the 1990s.

But Mrs Gillespie warned: "This will fail unless the pressure is taken off schools from the target-setting regime. The uniformity of standards in 5-14 was completely undermined because schools felt under pressure to overstate their performance to meet their targets."

The Rev Bill Milligan, president of the Association of Head Teachers in Scotland, said it was sensible to integrate national testing and the Assessment of Achievement Programme. But he remained to be convinced that it would achieve its objective.

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