Ministers poised to sharpen testing

31st August 2001 at 01:00
THERE will be no English-style national exams in Scottish primaries, The TES Scotland understands. Ministers, however, are keen to sharpen 5-14 testing and reporting to parents after consulting widely over the past two years on improvements to assessment. A statement is expected within the month.

But benchmark testing is unlikely to feature given the strength of union and parental opposition 10 years ago. Instead, ministers intend to "streamline" current testing and ensure more teachers are familiar with standards at each level. Staff development will feature strongly.

The spin is an "evolution" of testing, not a revolution.

More accurate information about pupil performance is expected to come from unifying the bank of 5-14 tests with the more refined techniques of the Assessment of Achievement Programme, which samples key aspects of the curriculum.

Ministers also accept they have to reduce the workload on teachers by cutting the volume of assessment and recording. A simpler way of passing on information to parents is being considered.

Testing comes of age, page 19

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