Calls to ban Scotland's P1 testing as pressure builds on Government

A children's charity has been 'flooded' with calls from parents wanting to take part in its 'postcard' campaign letting headteachers know they do not want their child to sit controversial P1 tests.Upstart Scotland, the children's education charity, launched the Scotland-wide joint campaign at the start of the new school year, with the support and backing of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) teaching union and a host of other children's charities.Around 30,000 postcards have been sent to key allies for dispersal. An email version is also available on the charity's Play Not Tests website.The aim is to encourage parents to withdraw their youngsters from the literacy and numeracy assessments launched last year by the Scottish Government. The postcard states: I do not want my child...to sit the Primary 1 SNSA tests of literacy or numeracy. I firmly believe that nationalstandardised assessment of this kind is not developmentally appropriated for young children and would, therefore, prefer assessment to be based on teacher observation and professional judgement, in accordance with the Early Level of the Curriculum for Excellence.'Sue Palmer, the charity's chairwoman and a former headteacher, said they had been inundated with calls and emails from parents.'It shows the strength of feeling out there that parents are deciding to take action. No-one has been listening to those who work with very small children, especially nursery teachers, but they are the ones with the specialist knowledge of children's ability.'Last week teachers said many young children had been left distressed coping with the pressures of the tests.Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the EIS, said: 'We are sceptical about the worth of standardised assessments generally, but we're particularly opposed to their introduction for P1 pupils.'They bring a rigid formality to assessment at a stage where the judgements of teachers, based on observation of child-centred learning, are all that's needed.'Scottish Liberal Democrat leader

Teachers and parents say many P1 pupils get upset at having to sit tests deemed necessary by the Scottish Govenment.

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Upstart Scotland, the children’s education and campaigning charity, has sent around 30,000 postcards to key allies including charities such as Children in Scotland and Play Scotland and the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) teaching union.