John Swinney pressed again to scrap controversial Primary 1 tests

Education secretary John Swinney has been urged to announce the scrapping of the Scottish Government’s divisive tests for primary one pupils.

Mr Swinney will today reveal to MSPs whether the national standard assessments, which have been condemned by teachers, parents and politicians since their introduction two years ago, will remain in place or be abolished.

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Opposition parties today said they hoped the Deputy First Minister would announce the end of the tests - nine months after the Scottish Parliament voted in favour of their scrapping.

John Swinney. Picture: John Devlin.


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Liz Smith, Scottish Conservative shadow education secretary said evidence given to Holyrood’s education committee had “made clear” there were “significant issues” with the tests for four and five-year-olds.

And Scottish Labour’s education spokesperson Iain Gray said: “The SNP should ditch standardised assessments for P1s - parents don’t want them, teachers think they are not worth doing, experts say they do not provide useful data, but above all Parliament has already voted to instruct John Swinney to scrap them across Scotland. To defy the will of Parliament would be an act of gross arrogance by the education secretary.”